soldier with rifle american civil warTHEN AND NOW

The 13th Amendment:
How It Came To Be

Thirty-Eighth Congress, Session I
December 7, 1863

Message from the President of the United States

The preliminary emancipation proclamation, issued in September, was running its assigned period to the beginning of the new year (i.e., to January 1862). A month later the final proclamation came, including the announcement that colored men of suitable condition would be received into the war service. The policy of emancipation, and of employing black soldiers, gave to the future a new aspect, about which hope and fear and doubt contended in uncertain conflict.

Note: This moment is huge for the man. How he struggled with his racism in 1858. How he begged the people of the Slave States not to do it, knowing they knew what he meant to do. And then he makes the war happen, and the war the white people of the Union brought on for themselves, instantly "freed" the Africans.

LincolnAccording to our political system, as a matter of civil administration, the General Government had no lawful power to effect emancipation in any State; and for a long time it had been hoped that the rebellion could be suppressed without resorting to it as a military measure. It was all the while deemed possible that the necessity for it might come, and that, if it should, the crisis of the contest would then be presented. It came, and, as was anticipated, it was followed by dark and doubtful days.

Note: The key word is "in" any State. Lincoln's party had arguments to make the case that the General Government, through its power to regulate commerce, could make unlawful interstates commerce in Africans, that, through its power to make "all needful rules" for the Territories, it could prevent Africans from entering.

Lincoln's statement that "it had been hoped that the rebellion could be suppressed without resorting to [emancipation] as a military measure" is tricky. The language suggests that Lincoln consciously used emancipation as a means to suppress resistance to the authority of the General Government. This is not the reality. The reality is that, once the Union armies destroyed their places as slaves on the plantations, hundreds of thousands of displaced Africans became the responsibility of the Government, to feed, clothe and shelter, and this reality forced Lincoln to adopt the policy of emancipation by proclamation.

Eleven months having now passed, we are permitted to take another review. The rebel borders are pressed still further back, and by the complete opening of the Mississippi the country dominated by the rebellion is divided into distinct parts, with no practical communication between them. Tennessee and Arkansas have been substantially cleared of insurgent control, and influential citizens in each, owners of slaves and advocates of slavery at the beginning of the rebellion, now declare openly for emancipation in their respective States. Of those States not included in the emancipation proclamation, Maryland and Missouri, neither of which three years ago would tolerate any restraint upon the extension of slavery into new Territories, only dispute now as to the best mode of removing it within their own limits.

Note: With Republicans now in control of the State Houses of Tennessee, Arkansas, Maryland and Missouri, there is a push on foot to use the convention process to amend the state constitutions to prohibit slavery. The struggle is between the Democrats, who are being pushed around, and the Republican carpet baggers─though the people of Kentucky, represented in the House by the Union Party, remain steadfast against a change in the legal status of the African.

Of those who were slaves at the beginning of the rebellion, full one hundred thousand are now in the United States military service, about one half of which number actually bear arms in the ranks; thus giving the double advantage of taking so much labor from the insurgent cause, and supplying the places which otherwise must be filled with so many white men. So far as tested, it is difficult to say they are not as good soldiers as any. No servile insurrection, or tendency to violence or cruelty, has marked the measures of emancipation and arming the blacks. These measures have been much discussed in foreign countries, and contemporary with such discussion the tone of public sentiment there is much improved. At home the same measures have been fully discussed, supported, criticized, and denounced, and the annual elections following are highly encouraging to those whose official duty it is to bear the country through this great trial. Thus we have the new reckoning. The crisis which threatened to divide the friends of the Union is past.

Note: Lincoln is painting a rosy picture here. His government has been hustlingslaves on move to deal with the responsibility the war has dumped on it, of taking care of several hundred thousands of Africans who, like gravel in the wake of a wave sweeping up a shore, are stranded in the open, their way of life swept away, without food and clothing and shelter. Lincoln's government is collecting them in warehouses it calls "Freedom Villages" and putting Union army uniforms on the healthy males who are now milling about in the rear of Grant's army on the Mississippi, not so much in Meade's. But the future is definitely becoming clear; just one more heavy push. . . .

In the midst of other cares, however important, we must not lose sight of the fact that the war power is still our main reliance. To that power alone can we look, yet for a time, to give confidence to the people in the contested region so that the insurgent power will not again overrun them. Until that confidence shall be established, little can be done  anywhere for what is called reconstruction. Hence our chief care must still be directed to the Army and Navy, who have thus far borne their harder part so nobly and well. And it may be esteemed fortunate that in giving the greatest efficiency to these indispensable arms, we do also honorably recognize the gallant men, from commander to sentinel, who compose them, and to whom, more than to others, the world must stand indebted for the home of freedom disinthralled, regenerated, enlarged, and perpetuated.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.                       December 8, 1863.

Note: Lincoln did not include in his message a call for the Congress to pass a resolution that the Constitution be amended to prohibit slavery in the Union. He knew he would be wasting his breath as his party lacks the two thirds majority it needs to pass it. New England and the western States are ready for it, but not the states of the old northwest territory─the territory that Virginia ceded to the Union, in 1787. But a year later, when it is plain the seceded States have lost the war, he will include it.

In the Senate of the United States
January 4, 1864

Mr. SUMNER of Massachussetts. If I can have the attention of the chairman of the committee one moment, I should like to know whether it was the understanding of the committee that the ejection of a colored person from a car was illegal.

Note: The Congress has passed a law that makes the African free in the District of Columbia. There is an irony here, when Sumner rails against the idea of an African being refused the privilege of riding as he pleases in public transportation, and the eventual recognition by the Supreme Court of the United States that the policy of the government to enforce the separation of the races in schools and public places, is constitutional.

Mr. GRIMES. As I understood it.

Mr. SUMNER. That the ejection was illegal?

Mr. GRIMES. Yes, sir.

Mr. SUMNER. If that is the opinion of the committee, of course there is no occasion forSumner additional legislation unless it be that the question of law has been drawn into doubt. Sometimes, for instance, we have a declaratory statute where there has been a doubt thrown upon a legal right. I fear there has been a doubt thrown upon what I do not doubt is a legal right in this case. But if the committee having this matter in charge have unanimously come to the conclusion that there is no need of any further legislation in order to protect what they regard as an undoubted legal right, I am not disposed at the present moment to recommend any further proceeding; but I desire to have it understood by the railroad company that they should take notice that they violate the law whenever they exclude a colored person from any one of their cars. Of course such a railroad corporation cannot be entitled to any favors hereafter from Congress. If it comes forward for any additional immunities or privileges, it cannot expect any grant of them from Congress. Would it entitle itself to any favor here, it must begin by acknowledging the rights of all persons without any distinction of color.

Mr. JOHNSON of Maryland. I have no doubt the chairman of the committee is right in sayingblack man that there is in the charter no authority to discriminate between any description of persons, the black or the white; and whatever would be the case in reference to such a charter in the States where slavery exists, where to a certain extent the negro is not upon the same footing with the freeman, it certainly cannot apply to the District of Columbia, where by your legislation already passed you have placed them in all respects upon the same footing. You have emancipated all those who were slaves before, and slavery cannot exist in this District at any time in the future, at any rate without the consent of Congress. That being the case, if there is not in the charter an express authority to discriminate, if the company undertake to discriminate except for some good cause, (and you can imagine a good cause why a particular person should not be permitted to enter the cars,) they would clearly be responsible.

 If a man were in such a filthy condition that nobody else could sit in the cars with him, it would be proper to exclude him, and we can very well imagine that might be true of a white man as well as a black man, and the right of exclusion would also apply to a man having a contagious disease. It is absolutely necessary to the safety of the traveling public that there should be some police power in order to protect those who travel in the cars, because, although I am as willing as the Senator from Massachusetts (and I am sure he would not be willing to go further than I should in that particular) to protect this description of people, I certainly would not place them upon a better footing than the white man. All that he seeks is, and all that as I suppose public opinion anywhere seeks to accomplish is, to put them upon equal rights, the enjoyment of all the rights under the law which the laws may give; but he would not say that it was not in the power of the company, without being responsible in actions for damages, (a question to be  assed upon hereafter if such a case should arise,) to exclude from the cars any description of person, white or black, whose presence in the cars would be attended with inconvenience, or peril to life or to health. I rose merely for the purpose of saying, Mr. President, that as I understand the charter, and I have had occasion to look at it, it contains no provision at all by which there is in the company any power to discriminate between these two classes of people.

Note: In 1896, the United States Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, established the governmental policy that black people could be forced to ride in separate cars: "We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it… The argument also assumes that social prejudice may be overcome by legislation, and that equal rights cannot be secured except by an enforced commingling of the two races… If the civil and political rights of both races be equal, one cannot be inferior to the other civilly or politically. If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them upon the same plane." In 1964, the Supreme Court reversed itself, ruling that Congress had the constitutional power to force white people, whose businesses catered to the general public, to treat black people the same as white people. What changed between 1896 and 1964? Nothing but the times.

Report of the Secretary of Treasury of the United States

ChaseAt the beginning of the fiscal year all demands on the Treasury had indeed been discharged, and there remained a balance to the credit of the Treasurer of $13 million. But the large disbursements, constantly demanded by military and naval operations,reduced this seemingly considerable balance to almost inconsiderable proportions. The reverses which befell our arms in June, July, and August [1862], increased the difficulties of the situation, so that, though the Secretary was enabled under existing legislation to provide largely for the increasing disbursements, there remained necessarily unpaid, on the first day of the last session of Congress, requisitions on the Treasury, chiefly from the War and Navy Departments, amounting in the aggregate to the sum of $46 million. (A sum worth $1 trillion today.)

Notwithstanding the aid afforded by the additional issue of the United States notes, under the joint resolution of January, 1863, the Secretary had found it impossible to prevent a gradual increase, during the session of Congress, in the amount of unpaid requisitions. Those which were unsatisfied at the beginning of the session were indeed discharged, and large sums were applied to new demands for current disbursements. But the aggregate of disbursements remaining necessarily unpaid, increased steadily, notwithstanding all efforts to prevent it, until it reached, at the close of the session, the sum of $72 million.

it was then estimated that the public debt on the 30th of June, 1863, would reach the sum of $1.1 billion, its actual amount on that day was $98 million and while the disbursements for the year were estimated at $693 million, the real total was $714 million.

S.P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury

Report of the Secretary of War

StantonImmediately after the President's emancipation proclamation diligent efforts were commenced, and have continued until the present time, for raising colored troops. The Adjutant General was sent to the Mississippi valley to organize the system there. A. bureau, to have in charge all matters belonging to such troops, was organized in the War Department. The report of its chief shows what progress has been made.

Note: Lincoln sent Lorenzo Thomas, the Army A.G., to Memphis and Vicksburg to personally supervise the enlistment of African males into the Army of Mississippi, because Grant and his officers were refusing to do so.

Over fifty thousand men are now organized and in the ranks, and the number will rapidly increase as our armies advance into the rebel States. The raising of these troops has been retarded, first, by the military operations in progress; and, second, by the removal of the slaves into the interior beyond reach of our recruiting agents. This obstacle, it is hoped, will soon be entirely overcome.

Many persons believed, or pretended to believe, and confidently asserted, that freed slaves would not make good soldiers; that they would lack courage, and could not be subjected to military discipline. Facts have shown how groundless were these apprehensions. The slave has proved his manhood, and his capacity as an infantry soldier, at Milliken's Bend, at the assault upon Port Hudson, and the storming of Fort Wagner.

The colored troops have been allowed no bounty, and, under the construction given by the Department, they can only, by existing law, receive the pay of ten dollars per month, white soldiers being paid thirteen dollars per month, with clothing allowance and a daily ration. There seem to be inequality and injustice in this distinction, and an amendment authorizing the same pay and bounty Qs white troops receive is recommended. Soldiers of the Union, fighting under its banner, and exposing their lives in battle to uphold the Government, colored troops are entitled to enjoy its justice and beneficence.

The fortunes of war have brought within our lines a large number of colored women, children, and some aged and infirm persons. Their care, support, and protection rest a solemn trust upon the Government. Their necessities have, to some extent, been supplied by the order of this Department, but a general and permanent system for their protection and support should be speedily adopted by Congress. Even if they are to be regarded as in some degree a burden upon the Government, they are a greater loss to the enemy. Every woman and child, from nine years old to sixty, has to the rebel planter a high market value. Their labor in the cotton field is a source of profit to him. Is it not better that we should feed them than that they should support the rebel master who is in arms against us?

In the House of Representatives, January 29, 1864

The House having under consideration a joint resolution to amend a joint resolution explanatory of  "An act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize
and confiscate the property of rebels, and for other purposes, Mr. Sweat of Maine said:

Mr.Speaker: Radicalism in these fevered days of war, upon matters of legislation, is Sweatprogressing with such unprecedented and fearful strides that one can hardly be excused for allowing himself to be astonished whenever any measure, however monstrous or extreme, is proposed for consideration before a deliberative assembly like this; but, sir, 1 must confess that when the measure now before the House was introduced by the gentleman from Iowa [Mr. Wilson] I was astonished, and I was still more surprised to see the attempts to stifle, or, at all events, to abridge the discussion upon it, when he announced that he should put it upon its passage under a call for the previous question.

I think it is not too much for me to say that his courtesy in finally consenting that this measure should remain open for discussion for two days might have been slightly stimulated by the intimation of the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Stevens] on his side of the House, who told him that if he expected his resolution to pass without amendment he would find himself woefully mistaken. 1 hold that upon this question, and upon all other questions affectiug the rights of the citizen under the Constitution, we ought to have deliberative, free, calm, and full discussion, so that when we come to record our votes we may do it intelligently, or, at all events, that we may do it after sufficient time has been granted to us for the honest cxercise of our judgments. This is all we ask of gentlemen upon the other side of the House, but this we do demand as our right, and as the right of the constituencies which we represent upon this floor.

But when I reflect upon the scenes before us the resistless whirl of events, so full of suffering and anguish; when the public mind is so shaken with doubts and fears, with frenzied thought and hurried action, it seems as if all mere human utterance or expression of opinion were vain and idle —so utterly weak and impotent as to make it but a mockery for any man to raise his voice of warning or counsel in favor of wise, prudent, and just action. This feeling pervades a much larger portion of our people than would at first appear, and an honest desire not to do or say anything which might be tortured into opposition to an earnest prosecution and speedy and just termination of the war, the most terrible of all earth's tragedies, closes the mouth of many of our most loyal citizens.

Fear of misconstruction, and therefore fear of harm to the great cause, has made silence the rule and not the exception, not only with many among the masses of the people, but also with gentlemen on this floor. They consider silence a virtue.

To ascertain the effect of the passage of this resolution we must bear in mind what the Confiscation Act of July 17, 1862, is, and also what the joint resolution of the same date is, which this resolution now before us proposes to repeal. Not to take time to read all of the confiscation act of 1862, I will only say that under and by virtue thereof the President is authorized to cause the seizure of the estate of rebel officers, of the president and other officers of the so-called confederate States, of the governor of any of the said States, and of other persons holding offices of honor or trust; and under that act the courts have power to make such orders, establish such forms of decree and sale, and direct such deeds and conveyances to be executed and delivered where real estate shall be the subject of  sale, as shall vest in the purchasers good and valid titles thereto. And the joint resolution of the same date, approved at the same time, and which is in fact a part of the  confiscation act, and which the President insisted should be passed before he would approve the act, is as follows:

"Resolved, That the provisions of the third clause of the fifth section of 'An act to  suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate the property of rebels, and for other purposes,' shall be so construed as not to apply to any act or acts done prior to the passage thereof; nor to include any member of a State Legislature, or judge of any State court, . . . nor shall any punishment or proceedings under said act be so construed as to work a forfeiture of the real estate of the offender here beyond his natural life."

Note: As Lincoln understood it, the Constitution allows neither bills of attainer nor ex post facto laws. Under the Act, Arlington Plantation was seized by the Government for its own use. Custis Lee, who had inherited the property from his grandfather, George Washington Custis, sued the Government, in 1870. The suit reached the Supreme Court which ruled the property had been confiscated without due process of law and ordered title restored to Lee.

The proposition now before the House is substantially to repeal the resolution which I have just read. If it stands on the statute-book it matters not which of the two constructions of the Constitution is correct which says: " No attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted"

In the Senate, February 25, 1864

Mr. Davis of Maryland. Slavery is dead in the rebel States? No, sir. No, sir. Far from it. If our honorable friends (the Democrats) on the other side elect their President in the coming fall, slavery is as alive as it was the day that the first gun blazed against Sumter. If we lose the majority in the next Congress, slavery is as powerful as it ever was. We are, it is true, in the condition in which we cannot stand still. We must go backward or we must go forward.

Note: At this time a constitutional convention was being called for, to change the Maryland constitution to abolish slavery. The new constitution was ratified in November 1864.

DavisMy face, sir, is to the future. I wish so to look at it, and so to say, to the men of my day and generation, what I think about the great measures which now touch the salvation of the country, that, whether I be on the winning or on the losing side, whether the nation triumph or fail, whenever anybody shall by accident hereafter rake about among the ashes of the past and find my name, he will find at least that 1 did not fear to say to friend and foe what the times demand; and it may be that it will be well if it were not heeded. Slavery is not dead by the proclamation. What lawyer attributes to it the least legal effect in breaking the bonds of the slave?

Executed by the bayonets, legally valid to the extent of the duration of the war, under the law of 1862 which authorizes the President to use the people of African descent as he may see fit for the suppression of the rebellion, it is undoubtedly valid to the extent of turning them loose from their masters during the rebellion. So long as the military power is engaged in suppressing resistance, they are free from their masters. Reestablish the old governments, allow the dominant aristocracy to repossess the State power in its original plenitude, how long will they be free? What courts will give them their rights? What provision is there to protect them? Where is the writ of habeas corpus? How are the courts of the United States to be open to them? Who shall close the courts of the States against the master? Does the master resort to the court against the slave? No; he seizes him by the neck.

Note: The essential thing to understand about the Union is that the bedrock political principle upon which it was founded, is the principle that each of the original States that formed it were sovereign within the meaning of the law of nations; and, as such, each enjoyed a republican form of government by which each, alone, was responsible for establishing domestic policy. The general government of the Union had absolutely no power granted to it by the people of the states, to change or modify the domestic policy they chose for their states. The fundamental political result of the war was that the general government seized absolute control of the domestic policies of the states, beginning with the policy of abolishing involuntary servitude everywhere in the Union. The seizure was eventually made "legal" by amending the constitution, the process of which is shown here, in the transcript of the congressional proceedings of 1864-65..

Nothing but the resolute declaration of the United States that it shall be a condition precedent that slavery shall be prohibited in their constitutions, and that the United States shall give judicial guarantees to the negroes, freedom in fact, and that the United States shall be kept under the control of men of such political views and purposes that the law will be executed as a constitutional law and imposed on reluctant people—nothing else can accomplish the death of slavery.

Supposing that to be done, Mr. Speaker, what then? This bill relates to the other grave social problem of the destiny of the African race when their bond is broken. Now many of them are thrown on our hands. We have to take care of them. To that extent the bill is right, and I shall vote for it for that purpose. How well it will answer, how far it must be modified after the national cause shall triumph, remains to be seen. Let the things of the future be cared for by the future.

But it is necessary now to determine our policy respecting the Africans when freed; to form some definite ideas as to what shall be the future of the African race; in other words, what disposition we will make of them when we have broken the masters' yoke, when Maryland shall have broken it hereafter, when Missouri shall have finally broken it, when West Virginia shall have finally broken it, and when slavery in all the rebel States shall have been destroyed and broken up in fact.

There are on that subject two, and only two, theories. One party says, " Colonize and pay for them." Another party says, "Leave them where they are." In favor of colonization, and compensation to all loyal persons in the rebel States, we have the declaration of the President of the United States, which naturally carries with it great weight. He has formally proposed it for the consideration of the people as his preferred policy. It is for that reason that it is the more important to look at it directly in the face, and to deal with it subject to the conditions which it involves, if It be adopted as the policy of the nation. It has been discussed and commented on by a distinguished gentleman, a member of his Cabinet, supposed, on that and other subjects, more accurately to represent his opinion than any other person.

Note: You see it, don't you? It doesn't matter whether we are dealing with white men in the North, or white men in the South: They have only two theories, both of which are objectively ridiculous. On the one hand, it is impossible to get the Africans out of the Union and, on the other, it is impossible to lock them up in the south forever. They are infected with a national racism that led them into war with themselves, and, despite all the horrible losses, they still can't bring themselves to recognize the obvious third theory.

Those comments are put frequently in the form of an attack upon the radical abolitionists; but, while that is the form, the substance is a vindication of the colonization policy of the President, a demonstration of its necessity to the success of the emancipation policy proclaimed by the President. (Davis, once a slave owner, is now a radical Republican.)

What are the grounds? First of all it is said that the radical abolitionists wish to change the Constitution of the United States and all of our laws, and to elevate to an equality this race; and in the next place that unequal races cannot live together on terms of equality and peace, and, therefore, that it is necessary to prevent the massacre of the African that he should be expatriated.

Mr. Speaker, what is the foundation of this view? The African must be colonized if he be free, or a war of races will exterminate him. What justifies this alternalive ? Will gentlemen tell me where in the history of the world they find the fact upon which they base that astounding generalization?

Civilized people have overborne savages, men of one religion have borne down men of a different religion, ambition has overturned one nation by another; but where in the history of the world is there any case of a nation going to work to exterminate a large portion of its people of another race living in the midst of it, of the same religion, civilized in the same manner, conforming to its laws, subject to its will, willing to work for its wages, not ambitious, and not disturbing the public peace, because they are of a different race?

Note: Notice all the qualfications. Indians and Jews obviously don't fit the proposition.

Where is the instance in the history of the world of the subjugation and massacre of a different race under these circumstances? In earlier times great masses of people poured from Central Asia (Mongrels) over Europe. They were of a different race from the inhabitants of the Roman empire, in any ethnological sense in which the word can be used. I do not know that they enslaved the whole mass of the people of the Roman empire. My impression is that the conquered civilized the conqueror, and that it did not end in the social war such as is contemplated here; but the descendants of both form now the people of Europe.

Note: One hundred and sixty years after the war, can we say the descendants of both form now the people of America?

The distinguished commentator on the colonization views of the President refers to the Moors of Spain. In an ethnological sense they were far from kin in point of race to the Spaniards. But race was not the ground of war; it was religion; and every decree which undertook to expel them gave them the alternative of baptism or exile.

Then we are referred to San Domingo. That is exactly what gentlemen on the other side of the House are preparing for us in the future. There was no revolt of slaves against their masters, there was no war of one race against another, unwilling to live in peace and industry; but the French Assembly, having freed the slaves of San Domingo, undertook to reduce them to slavery again. They revolted against the authority which attempted to reduce them to slavery, and under Toussaint L'Ouverture—whose military genius it is worthwhile to commend—his associates defeated both France and England in their attempt to reduce and hold the island.

These are the examples of wars of race! But why do they pass over the peaceful example of emancipation of Jamaica and the French colonies, where the circumstances would be more analogous? Why do they not invoke the great examples of Mexico and South America? The Indian of those countries is as far removed from the Spaniard as our Indians from us, and as we are from the African. The Spaniard gained and wielded the empire over them, but neither is exterminated; the two races are not blended, neither is reduced to slavery, and in Mexico both unite against the common foe. Race has nothing to do with the question. The Indian and Spaniard live together because both are civilized and both are Christian and both are interested in the same laws and government and industry.

Then what are you going to do with them? Go to kindred races and congenial climes? Where? To Texas? That is abandoned. To Central America for the purpose of making a connection between the great oceans? That was respectfully declined. To South America? I have not heard that the President has been successful there in finding a kindred race willing to receive them.

Back to Africa? Won't you ask as a matter of kindness to transplant the Irish back to Ireland? Who inhabit Mexico? Who inhabit Central America? Who inhabit South America? I take it the Indian of the Peninsula is further removed from the African than we are who come more directly from the common stock of central Asia. Then to transplant them there would be putting a greater diversity of races together to come into collision. Or will they love each other, though alien in race, because of their color? Is skin deep the depth of their philosophy?

The theory of the incompatibility of different races has no foundation in history. The moment you come to state it in words, and ask what it means, all the theory, all the philosophy, and all the facts break down, and there is the end of it.

But we are ourselves interested a little in this question of exportation of the African. Who is going to pay the cost? Who will pay for the transportation? Who will supply the depleted labor of the country? Who is going to pay the increased price of bread to the poor mechanic? Who is going to pay the increased price of cotton? Who is going to fill up the enormous vacuum of labor swept away by this insane and unchristian philanthropy? What is the African going to do in the mean time? You cannot take them away to-morrow or in a generation. The schemers propose to build canals and fortifications, connect the Mississippi with the lakes for a generation! Under whose supervision, at whose expense, by what new forms of socialism will you sweep a whole region of country of three or four million people, and concentrate them upon the banks of the Mississippi to eat bread and dig ditches, while the cotton fields are unplanted, and men and women starving?

When you undertake to colonize the African you will meet the master, who says "Do not leave me to starvation." The master will offer the African more to stay than the Government will offer him to go. Two generations cannot fill up his place; and if we can stand his presence two generations perhaps Christian philosophy will enable our descendants to reconcile themselves to the permanence of what has been found tolerable so long.

Why should they consent to go to barbarous countries? Why should they love the people of Astanee? Would the King of Dahomy in Africa protect them from the cannibals of Africa? They prefer to stay where they are. You cannot offer them as good homes; you cannot offer them as good wages; you cannot give them as good treatment; you cannot give them as good churches, nor as good houses and food and clothing for their children..

Why should they consent to go? Now deal with the problem under the conditions
which exist. The folly of our ancestors and the wisdom of the Almighty, in its inscrutable purposes, having allowed them to come here and planted them here, they have a right to remain here, and they will remain here to the latest recorded syllable of time. And  whether they become our equals or our superiors, whether they blend or remain a distinct race, your posterity will know, for their eyes will behold them as ours do now. These are things which we cannot control.

If we are to be treated, Mr. Speaker, to speculations on equality, and prejudices of race, and matters of that kind, to bewilder and mislead the public judgment upon this grave and important topic, allow me to beseech gentlemen to recollect that we people in America are not the only ones who have prejudices, and that Africans are not the only proscribed race in the world; that other nations have been as unjust and as inclined to oppress, and that we, in some regions of the world, would fare no better than Africans do here. How long has it been since "dog of a Christian" was the most polite word to us in the  moslem's mouth? How long has it been since a Brahmin would condescend to sit at table with the most aristocratic Englishman? How long has it been since the nobles of Europe refused to mingle their blood with the blood of the villain, or the peasant of continental Europe? Have we forgot the first example—that the Hebrew was an abomination to the Egyptian-African?

Mr. Francis P. Blair, Jr of Missouri addresses the issue of emancipation in his state.

BlairMy colleague [Mr. Blow] in his speech the other day undertook to draw the line of distinction between himself and myself, between his principles and those which I advocate. He asserted that the radical party of Missouri was in favor of immediate and unconditional emancipation, and that I and the friends with whom I act were in favor of gradual emancipation. I have always been willing to accept gradual emancipation, or any other step in the right direction. I favored immediate emancipation in my own State, relying upon the compensation to the loyal owners of slaves tendered by Congress, and whenever the people of Missouri or any other State desire it, and adopt this plan, I am more than willing to accept immediate emancipation.

I cannot regard any one as an honest man who wishes to place the whole burden on the slaveholders, and who is unwilling to bear his share of the of the expense in accomplishing a general benefaction. We have had recently an opportunity to test the sincerity of the Jacobins of Missouri on this question, and I intend now to expose the hypocrisy of their professions in favor of immediate emancipation to the very men they have deceived and misled by their clamors and misrepresentations.

Note: At the outbreak of the war, a convention was established to consider secession. This convention continued in existence throughout the war. In June 1863, it passed an "ordinance" which proposed to abolish slavery with compensation, in 1870. By 1864, the radicals had gained control and passed a new ordinance proporting to free Missouri slaves immediately. The radicals, not happy with Lincoln's slow motion, nominated Fremont as the party candidate but he refused to accept and Lincoln was chosen instead. Slavery legally ended in Missouri, when the legislature ratified the 13th amendment, in January 1865.

When the last Legislature which sat in Missouri first assembled, the constitution of our State permitted emancipation by the Legislature either by the consent of the owners of slaves or upon fair compensation to be made to them. The Congress of the United States had prior to that time, and upon the recommendation of Mr. Lincoln, passed a resolution pledging the General Government to pay for the slaves in any of the border States which should adopt measures for the abolishment of slavery. The radicals, combined with the other Union men in favor of emancipation, composed a large and overwhelming majority in the Missouri Legislature. My friends offered various bills in favor of emancipation upon compensation. The radicals voted against and defeated every measure of this kind that was proposed.

Congress at its last session passed a measure in this House appropriating $10 million to pay for the slaves of Missouri; the bill went to the Senate and the sum was increased to $20 million; it came back to this House and was reduced to $15 million. I undertake to say that the Senate which had voted $20 million, would not have hesitated to give the $15 million agreed to by this House, if the measure offered by my friends in the Missouri Legislature had not been defeated by the Missouri radicals. A leading member of that faction in the Missouri Legislature, Mr. Charles P. Johnson, openly proclaimed his gratification, in a social gathering of the brotherhood, at the failure of the appropriation by Congress to pay for the slaves of Missouri. The sentiment was received with applause by his brother radicals.

Tlie measure was again and again tendered to them by the Union emancipationists of Missouri, and was as often refused. It was under these circumstances that the convention, a body elected prior to the rebellion, and which was intended by the secession leaders to carry the State out of the Union, but refused to do it, was called together, and upon the recommendation of our late Governor, and in obedience to the wishes of the people, passed an ordinance liberating the slaves of Missouri at the end of seven years, holding them to service for the intermediate period, and subsequently placing the younger slaves in the condition of apprentices until they attained mature years, in lieu of compensation to their owners. That ordinance was denounced by the radicals in my State, who had proven themselves so false to the cause of emancipation,
as a measure for the continuation and perpetuation of slavery. I accepted it as a step in the right direction, believing at the time and knowing now that the people of the State were fast becoming reconciled to this measure, and that every slave in the State would be emancipated before the time fixed in that ordinance. This is a brief and truthful sketch of the chicanery practiced by malcontent leaders who would turn hypocritical cant for freedom to account to aid their ambition.

Another point of difference alluded to by my colleague, [Mr. Blow,] and which is urged more elaborately in the speech of the distinguished gentleman from Maryland, [Mr.  Davis,] who makes common cause with him, is found in the fact that the Union emancipationists of Missouri adhere to the policy of the President in favor of the colonization of the free negroes.

These gentlemen are opposed to this policy. Here is the program which the representatives of the Jacobins of Maryland and Missouri would substitute for the policy proposed by the two Presidents, Jefferson and Lincoln, for the establishment of the negroes in a country of their own, in which they could be governed by their own laws, and be free from the crushing weight of prejudice which always would depress them in the midst of another race superior in numbers and wielding the powers of Government.

Note: These people, you can see, are simply out of touch with reality. They are living in a dream world. There were not enough ships in existence in the world of 1864 which were capable of transporting four million people of any color anywhere in less than twenty years of continous sailing in a loop; and the cost of it! uncalculable.

The Representative from Missouri says: "We have no such theories, have indulged in no such unkindness to the unfortunate blacks. We are content to let them remain where providence placed them, and with a more elevated sense of justice to ameliorate their condition at once, and elevate them as speedily as possible on the soil that has been enriched by the sweat of' their brows through years of unrequited toil and crushed and bleeding hearts."

The member from Maryland is even more pointed. He [Mr. Davis] exclaims: "The folly of our ancestors and the wisdom of the Almighty, in its inscrutable purposes, having allowed them to come here and planted them here, they have a right to remain here, and they will remain here to the latest recorded syllable of time. And whether they become our equals or our superiors, whether they blend or remain a distinct race, your posterity will know, for their eyes will behold them as ours do now. These are things which we cannot control. Laws do not make, laws cannot unmake them. If God has made them our equals, then they will work out the problem which he has sent them to work out; and if God has stamped upon them an ineradicable inferiority, you cannot make one hair white or black or add a cubit to their stature.

I regret very much that neither of these gentlemen have found it convenient to be present in the House to-day. 1 should like very much to ask them to be a little more explicit. I wish to know exactly what all this flourish about "the elevation" of the negro means. Does it mean that they are to be endowed with the rights of suffrage and of citizenship and of official position? Are they to have a full share in the Government established by our ancestors, and a fair start in this race for superiority? It cannot be that these gentlemen intend to thwart the "providence of  God" by placing legal impediments or obstacles in the way of the negro to impede his progress in this contest for superiority with our own race in its inherited dominion; but unfortunately for me and for the people to whom this country belongs, neither of these gentlemen are here to respond to the inquires which 1 desire to make; and I must look for light on this interesting point in the utterances heretofore made by one of those gentlemen.

The gentleman from Maryland is not content with leaving the negro a "disfranchised
individual." Both of them agree that they shall be armed amid the unarmed white population of the South; and then, in the language of the gentleman from Maryland, "whether they become our equals or our superiors, whether they blend or become a distinct race, your posterity will know."

This settles very satisfactorily the meaning of that part of the gentleman's program in which he goes so earnestly for the elevation of the African. But 1 do not perceive how it is to be reconciled with another theory broached by him in his late speech. He tells us in this elaborate and well-considered effort that the idea of the hostility of races is one that is unknown to history, and he calls upon those who have advanced that theory to point to a single instance where such a thing as hostility of race has ever manifested itself. Then why arm the African? Why at the end of the war must we have masses of them in arms, whom it will be more difficult to reduce to slavery than to let them remain free?" Is it not perfectly apparent that the gentleman feels and recognizes the hostility of these races when he demands that they shall be armed to defend their freedom from another race which will seek to reduce them to slavery? Indeed, why has this race been so long in servitude in our land except that they are Africans and of another race than ours?  Is not this the defense and justification that has always been urged for their enslavement?

Note: In a sentence Blair reveals the silliness of our modern day historians who preach to their students that "slavery" caused the Civil War. National racism caused the war, because it, and only it—not economics—explains why the institution survived into the 1860s; it was the means by which the white people, on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, could keep the Africans from gaining political equality with them.

Would our fathers ever have brought them here or their children retained them in bondage but that the fact of their being of another race gave them a pretext? I will not go outside of the speech the gentleman made on this floor the other day to show that he is himself animated by the very sentiment, hostility of race, which he so stoutly and so earnestly denies the existence of. In the very expression of his disbelief in the theory of the hostility of races, he cannot restrain himself from the exhibition of his hatred for Irishmen.

The old leaven of Know Nothingism works so strongly in the gentleman that he cannot make an argument without upsetting it by an exhibition of his spleen against a foreign and what he considers an inferior race—the Irish. "Won't you ask," he says, "as a matter of kindness to transplant the Irish back to Ireland?" I certainly should if all Americans bore the hostility to them he manifests.

Mr. Knapp of Illinois speaks of the Freedman Villages:

KnappIf there is any duty on the part of the Government to support these persons who have been rendered destitute by the operation of this war, I ask why not support all the bruised and maimed men, the thousands and tens of thousands of widows, and the still larger number of orphans left without the protection of a father? If any objects which appeal to the charity of the Government are presented, I ask why not present the claims of these persons! Why not support, the widows and orphans which this war has made? Why not support the offspring of those brave men who have laid down their lives in defense of what you call free institutions?

If this bill is to be put upon the ground of charity, I ask that charity shall begin at home and first be extended to those who have made such sacrifices at the call of the country and its authorities. I hope I am not insensible to the claims which present themselves under this attractive garb, and when they are sought to be made the basis of legislation, turning this Government into a vast charitable institution, I shall claim my right to decide who shall become the recipients of so magnificent a provision, and with every sympathy of my nature in favor of those of my own race.

If you take the negro for a soldier and enroll him in the armies of the Republic, then treat him as you do other soldiers; pay him what you agree to, and out of his pay let him provide for the wants of his family. That is all you can do. It is impossible for the Government to make good to everyone all the losses which may be sustained by reason of this war. I concede that. You have to act in this matter upon broad, general principles, seeking to do the same equal and exact justice to all. When you have paid the soldier a fair sum for his services, agreed upon between you, and provided for his wants as far as you are able by pensions, you have done all you can do. If you insist upon using the African as a soldier, do for him if you please the same as you do for any other soldier, but why make such special and extraordinary provision for him and his family, when you even attempt nothing like it for the men of you own race who have periled life and limb in your defense? No one will question the humanity of the Government when we place these Africans upon the same footing with white soldiers for the same service.

Nowhere in the President's message does he even hint that it is our duty to undertake the management of the domestic affairs of these freedmen, but in every allusion to the subject it is expressly in reference to State action, and State action alone. He simply proposes to approve any action of a State government, upon certain conditions being recognized, which looks to the employment of these people, with a view to their own benefit and to prevent the confusion and difficulties which he recognizes as inseparable from the changing of their personal status.

It is to the States, and to them alone, belongs the right and power to determine in what manner shall be mitigated the evils arising from any system of pauperism from any cause within their limits. My friend from Massachusetts [Mr. Sumner] thinks differently, and says it is the duty of the Government to lead these people quietly through the wilderness into the land of promise.

Note: Mr. Knapp, who was born in New York and emigrated to Illinois as a young man, is oblivous to the fact that the sovereign power of the States, to set their own domestic policy, has evaporated in the fire of the war.

I recognize the scriptural allusion which the gentleman makes; but let me tell him I think the duties of this Government, as established by this bill, in leading these people into the land of promise, will be similar to those which the omnipotent Jehovah discharged to that chosen people of his whom he was leading into a similar declared land. That consisted, to a very great extent, in furnishing them with manna, and, for variety, an occasional supply of quails. The duty of this Government, by this bill, will be about the same. It is to furnish them with bread to eat and with clothing to wear, they to return to us the product of their toil for the benefit of the Government.

Mr. Voorhees of Indiana speaks to the state of the Union:

The great leader of the Administration on this floor, the gentleman from Pennsylvania,
[Mr. Stevens,] has deliberately here announced, after all our sacrifices, sorrows, and loss, that the Union of our fathers is dead, and that he who attempts its resurrection is a  criminal instead of a patriot. He goes further, and admits all the seceded States have ever claimed is their nationality. They have sought in vain in all the four quarters of the earth for recognition. They find it at last at the hands of those who speak for the Administration on this floor.

Sir, I deny this doctrine. I plant myself on the Constitution which recognizes an unbroken Union. I shall stand there in every vicissitude of fortune, and if I fall it will be when the people themselves abandon their own Constitution. By the principles of this mighty instrument, I expect finally a restoration of the Union of the States. Every hour which the party in power prolongs its control of affairs, postpones the auspicious day, but as I behold the future it will assuredly come. Material and indestructible interests unite every section except that which prospers on fanaticism. And I here today, in the spirit of one who expects and desires his posterity and theirs to live together in the ancient and honorable friendship of their fathers, warn the southern people not to look forward to separation and independence, but to embrace every opportunity for cooperation with the conservative men of the North, who will aid with their lives, if need be, to secure them all their rights and institutions as free and equal citizens of the United States. If this be done the approaching presidential election will bring peace. Union, and liberty. But if the peaceful popular revolution of the ballot-box fails to produce these results, then darkness will settle upon the face of the deep, and the free institutions of America will exist only on the page of the future historian. Four years more of our present policy will leave the Republic an unshapen mass of ruins, a wreck more melancholy and hopeless than any that strew the pathway of ages. And here in this fair young western world, as in all former times, a despotism will arise from the shattered fragments of self-government, to which each succeeding generation shall pay the extorted tribute of its blood and toil.

In the Senate, March 28, 1864

 Mr. HENRY WILSON of Massachuesetts. Mr. President, "our country," said that illustriousWilson statesman, John Quincy Adams, "began its existence by the universal emancipation of man from the thralldom of man." Amidst the darkling storms of revolution it proclaimed as its living faith the sublime creed of human equality. From out the rolling clouds of battle the new Republic, as it took its position in the family of nations, proclaimed in the ear of all humanity that the poor, the humble, the sons of toil, whose hands were hardened by honest labor, whose limbs were chilled by the blasts of winter, whose cheeks were scorched by the suns of summer, were the peers, the equals, before the law, of kings and princes and nobles, of the most favored of the sons of men.

When its splendid edifice of constitutional government rose in grandeur and beauty upon the vision of mankind, the champions of popular rights in the Old World, and the people, in whose hearts still lingered the dimly-remembered accents of liberty, as they turned their gaze hitherward, hailed and welcomed the advent of the new-born Republic. In after years, amid the throes of revolutions, they turned ever to the rising Republic beyond the seas for the inspiration of faith and hope in the final triumph of struggling humanity. And the republics of the New World, as they emerged from colonial dependence, through the fire and blood of revolutions, to national life, turned toward united America as the great exemplar whose steady lights would illume their darkened pathway to national unity and power, and liberty regulated by law.

We of America have been accustomed, Mr. President, to contemplate with something of gratified and patriotic pride the strength of our democratic institutions and the stability of our republican Government. As we have watched the fraternal strifes, the bloody and desolating wars of factions that, in the republics of the New World, have followed each other like the fleeting shadows of summer clouds, as we have watched, too, the revolutionary throes and struggles, the falling and rising thrones and dynasties of the Old World, we have often turned fondly and proudly to our own country in the undoubting faith that the Republic was immortal, that, sustained by the vital and animating patriotism of a Christian people, it was ever instinct with the freshness and bloom of youth and the vigor of matured manhood.

Gazing with beaming eye and throbbing heart upon the grandeur and beauty of this splendid edifice of constitutional government in America, we came to believe that it was as imperishable as the memory of its illustrious builders. But the Republic of the United States, the land of so much of affection, of pride, and of hope, now presents to the startled and astonished gaze of mankind a humiliating and saddening spectacle. The treasonable menaces of other days have now ripened into treasonable deeds. Civil war now holds its carnival and reaps its bloody harvests. The nation is grapling with a gigantic conspiracy, struggling' for existence, for the preservation of its menaced life, against a rebellion that finds no parallel in the annals of the world.

Note: Wilson, one of the most radical of the radicals, provides us with the linquistic beauty of rhetoric, but behind the flowered words there is no substance. Wilson is ignoring what almost everyone else in the chamber knows: there is a deep, almost universal, feeling of superiority among the white people of the Union against the African, plainly expressed in words by Lincoln, that makes it impossible for them, then, must we still say now, to accept the African as their political, much less social, equal. So he ignores the underlying animus driving the whole thing and paints over the reality with pretty words.

Why is it that millions of the men and the women of Christian America are sorrowing with aching hearts and tearful cries for the absent, the loved, and the lost? Why is it that the heart of loyal America throbs heavily oppressed with anxiety and gloom for the future of the country?

Sir, this gigantic crime against the justice, the unity, and the life of the nation is to make eternal the hateful dominion of man over the souls and bodies of his fellow-men. These sacrifices of property, of health, and of life, these appalling sorrows and agonies now upon us, are all the merciless inflictions of slavery in its gigantic effort to found its empire and make its hateful power forever dominant in Christian America.

Yes, slavery is the conspirator that conceived and organized this mighty conspiracy against the unity and existence of the Republic. Slavery is the traitor that madly plunged the nation into the fire and blood and darkness of civil war. Slavery is the criminal whose hands are dripping with the blood of our murdered sons. Yes, sir, slavery is the conspirator, the traitor, the criminal that is reddening the sods of Christian America with the blood of fathers and husbands, sons and brothers, and bathing them with the bitter tears of mothers, wives, and sisters. Sir, slavery—bold, proud,  domineering, with hate in its heart, scorn in its eye, defiance in its mien—has pronounced against the existence of republican institutions in America, against the supremacy of the Government, the unity and life of the nation. Slavery, hating the cherished institutions that tend to secure the rights and enlarge the privileges of mankind; despising the toiling masses as mudsills and white slaves; defying the Government, its Constitution and its laws, has openly pronounced itself the mortal and unappeasable enemy of the Republic.

Planted in America by the commercial and colonial policy of the British empire, fostered by British legislation, protected by British kings and queens, lords, judges, and prelates, slavery, from the day it entered the harbor of Jamestown to the dawn of the Revolution, was an alien in America, an enemy to law and order, liberty and progress. The pages of our colonial history bear to us the amplest testimony that our fathers saw its malign influence, and protested against the slave trade and the slave extending policy of the British Government. The bright pages of our history, upon which are recorded the heroic deeds of the men who accepted the bloody issues of civil war in defense of their periled liberties, and whose names are forever associated with national independence and constitutional Government, will transmit to all coming generations the glorious fact that the founders of the Republic believed slavery to be an evil—a moral, social, and political evil—that would pass away under the influence of the ideas and principles they had proclaimed.

Note: Wilson not once, calls the thing what it is: The British kings and queens did not bring slavery to America, they brought Africans to be their laborers in carving out of a hostile wilderness money for their coffers; and, in doing this, they allowed their citizens, the few of them who dared to seek their fortune in America, to enslave the African as the means of maintaining a social order based on white racism.

Sir, under the new Constitution, framed to secure the blessings of liberty, slavery strode into the chambers of legislation, the halls of justice, the mansions of the Executive, and, with menaces in the one hand and bribes in the other, it awed the timid and seduced the weak. Marching on from conquest to conquest, crushing where it could not awe, seduce, or corrupt, slavery saw institutions of learning, benevolence, and religion, political organizations and public men, ay, and the people too, bend before it and acknowledge its iron rule.

Note: Because? Because no white person of the times wanted to live in political equality with Africans. They had to be kept apart while they did the work, kept in a caste apart and the legal status of slavery served the purpose.

Sir, slavery not only fires the southern heart, brain, and soul, and nerves the southern arm in council-hall and on the battle-field with its malignant hate and bitter scorn of Yankee laborers and Yankee institutions, its lofty contempt for the principles and policy of freedom, its haughty defiance of the authority of the national Government, and its gorgeous visions of the future power of the southern confederacy, commanding the commerce of the world by its tropical productions and its millions of slaves, but it uses the bones and sinews of more than three millions of the bondmen of rebel masters in support of the rebellion. These slaves of rebel masters sow and reap, plant and gather the harvests that support rebel masters and feed rebel armies. By their ceaseless, unpaid toil, these millions of bondmen enable their traitorous masters and the poor white men of the rebel States to leave their fields and shops and rush to the battle-field to shed the blood of our loyal countrymen.

Sir, slavery in America, though upheld by interests, customs, and usages, trenched about by inhuman statutes, and hedged around by passionate, vehement, and unreasoning prejudices, is fast crumbling to atoms beneath the blows rained upon it by a liberty-loving and patriotic people. But let anti-slavery men listen to no truce, to no compromise, to no cry for mercy. Let them now be as inflexible as justice, as inexorable as destiny. Whenever and wherever a blow can be dealt at the vitals of the retreating fiend, let that blow be struck in the name of the bleeding nation, and of the dumb, toiling millions bound and sold. A truce with slavery is a defeat for the nation. A compromise with slavery is a present of disaster and a future of anarchy and blood. Mercy to slavery is a crime against liberty. The death of slavery is the annihilation of the rebellion, the unity of the Republic, the life of the nation, the development of republican institutions, the repose, culture, and renown of the people.

Sir, let not the anti-slavery men of this age forget that the founders of the Republic believed slavery would wither and die beneath the blended rays of the Christian and democratic institutions they founded. Let them not forget that slavery was then a mendicant, pleading for forbearance and mercy, for a little time to hide itself from the gaze of that humanity it outraged and dishonored. Let them remember how it eluded and deceived our fathers, and from a feeble mendicant became the master of the Government and the people, until it consummated its crimes by the inauguration of the revolution to blot the North American Republic from the muster-roll of nations.

But, sir, the crowning act in this series of acts for the restriction and extinction of slavery in America is this proposed amendment to the Constitution prohibiting the existence of slavery forevermore in the Republic of the United States. If this amendment shall be incorporated by the will of the nation into the Constitution of the United States, it will obliterate the last lingering vestiges of the slave system; its chattelizing, degrading, and bloody codes; its dark, malignant, barbarizing spirit; all it was and is, everything connected with it or pertaining to it, from the face of the nation it has scarred with moral desolation, from the bosom of the country it has reddened with the blood and strewn with the graves of patriotism. The incorporation of this amendment into the organic law of the nation will make impossible forevermore the reappearing of the discarded slave system, and the returning of the despotism of the slave masters' domination.

Then the wronged victim of the slave system, the poor white man, the sand-hiller, the clay-eater of the wasted fields of Carolina, impoverished, debased, dishonored by the system that makes toil a badge of disgrace, and the instruction of the brain and soul of man a crime, will lift his abashed forehead to the skies and begin to run the race of improvement, progress, and elevation.

Mr. GARRET DAVIS of Kentucky obtained the floor.

Mr. TRUMBULL of Illinois. I presume the Senator from Kentucky does not desire to go on tonight, and if not I will move that the Senate adjourn. The motion was agreed to; and the Senate adjourned.

House of Represenatives
Monday, March 28, 1864


Mr. NORTON of Illinois introduced a joint resolution proposing an amendment of the Constitution; which was read a first and second time, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.


Mr. STEVENS of Pennsylvania offered the following resolution, and upon it demanded the previous question: Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following articles be proposed to the several States as amendments to the Constitution of the United States:

Article 1. Slavery and involuntary servitude, except for the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, is forever prohibited in the United States and all its Territories.

Art. 2. So much of article four, section two, as refers to the delivery up of persons held to service or labor escaping into another State is annulled.

Note: Thaddeus Stevens was born in Danville, Vermont, in 1792. He wasStevens educated at Dartmouth, graduating from that place in 1814. In 1815 he moved to York in Pennsylvania where be took up instruction in the law and then moved to Gettysburg and began his practice. In 1833, he became the representative for Adams County in the Pennsylvania Legislature. In 1849, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and quickly emerged in the public mind as stridently antislavery, eventually becoming the leader of the House on the slavery question; supported by Washburne, Bingham, Conkling and Morrill, he drafted the 13th Amendment and pushed it through the House.

Mr.HOLMAN of Indiana. Does the gentleman propose to put the resolution on its passage now ?

The SPEAKER. The Chair is not aware.

He demands the previous question.

Mr. HOLMAN. I move to lay the resolution on the table.

The SPEAKER. If the gentleman objects to the resolution, the first question is, "Shall this
joint resolution be rejected.'" this being the first reading.

Mr. ALLEY of Massachusetts. Is it in order to move a division of the resolution.''

The SPEAKER. The Chair thinks not. This is not in the nature of a simple resolution which is divisible. It is in the nature of a bill, and the Chair knows no way in which a bill can be divided.

The previous question was seconded, and the main question was ordered to be put.

Mr. ANCONA of Pennsylvania. I demand the yeas and nays upon the motion to lay on the table.

The yeas and nays were ordered.

The question was put; and it was decided in the negative—yeas 38, nays 69.

So the House refused to lay the resolution on the table.

Mr. HOLMAN. I rise to a question of order. I made the point of order that upon this motion, there not being two thirds of the vote against the rejection of this bill, it does in fact amount to its rejection under the constitution.

The SPEAKER. The Chair overrules the point of order. The point of order might be good
upon the passage of the resolution, but not previously. The Constitution says that Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to the Constitution. That question must be determined on the passage of the joint resolution.


Mr. STEVENS. I now demand the previous question on the joint resolution.

Mr. ELDRIDGE of Wisconsin. I move that the House do now adjourn.

Mr. PENDLETON of Ohio. I demand the yeas and nays on that motion.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of  Illinois, addressed the Chair.

The SPEAKER. The Chair can scarcely recognize the gentleman while there is a motion
pending to adjourn.

Mr. ELDRIDGE. The only reason why I made the motion to adjourn is because gentlemen opposite are attempting to amend the Constitution of the United States under the previous question.
[Cries of "Order!" "Order!"]

In the Senate, March 30, 1864

Tlie Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, having under consideration the joint resolution (S. No. 16) proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

The Cause of the War

Mr. DAVIS of Kentucky said:

GarrettThe general reason assigned by the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary [Mr. Wilson], who reported this resolution, and supported it in a very able speech, why the proposed amendment should be adopted, struck me as being very unsound and altogether fallacious. He assumed that slavery was the cause of the rebellion: in substance, that whether the immediate and proximate cause was in the purpose of the rebels to establish a southern confederacy, consisting exclusively of slave States, and based upon the institution of slavery, or whether that immediate and proximate cause was the interference of the northern fanatics and abolitionists with the institution—in either state of the case, slavery was the cause of the war, and therefore should be abolished.

Sir, what produced the war of the Revolution? The apparent cause was the encroachment of the mother country upon the rights of the colonies. The immediate and proximate cause was the imposition of the stamp tax and duties on the importation of teas and other articles into the colonies. This was taxation without representation. Taxation of the colonies by the Parliament of England without being represented in it was unquestionably the proximate cause of that war.

Every war has its cause or causes, and the causes of most wars are multiform, and both immediate and remote. They are not single and isolated; they are not limited to one or two, but are generally many. They spring primarily out of the wickedness and bad passions of the human heart, its ambition, its lust of power and dominion.

What was the cause of the war of the United States with the Seminole Indians? What produced all the wars that we have had with the Indian tribes? Nothing but the encroachments of the white settlers upon the Indian lands, and the wrongs and oppressions committed by the white settlers upon the Indian tribes. The mode of argument adopted by my honorable friend would prove that all our difficulties and wars with the Indians could and should have been prevented by keeping our people away from their lands and all contact with them, to the end that there should exist no causes of war between them.

Mr. President, if I were asked to point out the most operative single cause of the pending war, I should certainly name the intermeddling of Massachusetts with the institution of slavery. I suppose other Senators, and especially those from the northern portion of the free States, would associate South Carolina as being equally probably a greater sinner than Massachusetts. From this equality of delinquency and guilt I should certainly dissent. But I would be disposed to compromise the matter by conceding " bad eminence" to both of these States, and in relation to both I would be perfectly willing to adopt the remedy of the honorable Senator from Illinois and inflexibly to put it in execution.

I would abolish both of the States; and if that abolition could have occurred twenty or thirty years ago I feel entire confidence that this deplorable war would never have occurred. I only regret that it has not been within the scope of providential events or within the actual and executed policy of the Government and people of the United States that these two pestiferous States had been wiped out in the past generation. Sir, it would have been a demolition, but it would have produced incalculable good to the whole country.

To make war upon the United States or any State when they are respectively in the exercise of their constitutional powers or to resist by armed force the execution of their laws is equally treason; and if this war or resistance is made by officers of the United States against a State, or by officers of any State government against the United States, it is no less treason against the State or the United States respectively than it would be if the delinquents were unofficial persons. The President may commit treason against a State and a Governor of any State against the United States by the same acts that would be treason if done by private individuals. No position of office or authority, whether under the United States or a State, gives any immunity whatever for acts of treason against either.

Note: Mr. Wilson moved that Davis be expelled from the Senate for this and other speeches which offended Mr. Wilson's sensibilities. The motion was defeated.

Mr. HOWE of Wisconsin. In reference to that I should like to ask him a single question. I ask him whether the Army of the United States commit treason in making war against the laws of South Carolina? Does he hold that that is one of the States whose 'laws limit the action of the Army of the United States?

Mr. DAVIS. No, I do not hold that, but I lay down my position thus: that when a State is in the performance of its duty in conformity to the Federal Constitution, that State is entitled to the same immunity from infraction of its laws and sovereignty by the President of the United States and all officers of the General Government, civil and military, as from its own citizens, and as the United States and their Government are from the Governor and other officers of the State. That is my position.

The absorption of the sovereignty not delegated by the Constitution to the General
Government, and consequently reserved to the States, or any portion of it, by the President or Congress, would be revolutionary and destructive of our system, as would be the absorption by the States of the sovereignty, or any portion of it, delegated to the Government of the United States.

Mr. President, [Mr. Powell in the chair,] it is clearly and imperatively the duty of you and myself to defend the reserved rights and sovereignty of Kentucky against the encroachments of Abraham Lincoln and his party, as it is to defend the limited sovereignty of the United States against the assaults of the rebels. To fail in either would be equally delinquent and criminal.

If it were conceded that the power to amend the Constitution, as established and regulated by the fifth article, would by its terms and letter authorize the proposed change, it would be in fatal conflict with its intent and spirit, and therefore, according to a universal rule of construction, void and of no effect. It never was the purpose of those who made it to subject many of its great principles to be expunged by the exercise of this power of amendment.

Note: This is the first and most unusual of the several abstract arguments made by the members to explain the nature of the political relationship between the parties to the Constitution. What is important to understand is that abstractions must always give way to reality in the conduct of human affairs. The idea, as Davis expresses it, that the founders must be deemed to have intended that certain basic matters—such as the right of property in the labor of an African—is beyond the scope of the amendment clause is pure speculation, an abstraction without foundation in law or fact, though it is passionately expressed by several members of Congress as the debate in both houses proceeds.

The power to amend is but the power to improve, and any alteration to be legitimate should be an amendment. To this it may be said that as there is no certain test by which this question of amendment can be tried it is necessarily decided by the amending power. Granting this argument to be sound, still there is another and very important question connected with this power of amendment. Does it import the power of revolution? Of making such essential change in the nature, form, powers, and limitations of the Government as would be revolutionary of it—of its important structure, of its characteristic principles, of the great and essential rights and liberties assured by it to the citizen?

Note: To the point: at this time—1864—Karl Marx is in his London garett writing Das Capital, making the pitch that all rights of private property should be extinquished, with the State doling it out according to a person's needs.

The true and precise question is, does the proposed change, or amendment, carry a revolutionary principle and power? 1 hold that the framers of the Constitution did not intend it to be, and that it is not in its nature or in fact, a revolutionary power; that there is a boundary between the power of revolution and the power of amendment, which the latter, as established in our Constitution, cannot pass; and that if the proposed change is revolutionary it would be null and void, notwithstanding it might be formally adopted.

The best mode of reaching truth and principle, policy and safety, in any changes of the Constitution would be a convention, in which every State and all its leading interests should be represented; and the presentation of important facts, opinions, and views that concern them all, should be made to the entire representation of the people of the United States. The assembling of men together, face to face, who are local representatives, to unfold directly to each other matters of so much importance, that have close connections, and necessarily extensive antagonism, and that ought as near as possible to be satisfactorily compromised, harmonized, and settled, is unquestionably the best mode.

President Lincoln's Usurpations

Lincoln and his party determined not only to consummate the destruction of slavery, so that it could never be restored, but also to continue themselves and their party in place and power. The first they consider substantially as an accomplished fact; and they are, and have been for more than a year, moving with increasing energy and boldness toward the other as their now paramount object.

Note: In this charge, Davis is certainly correct. The radicals, as they came into complete control of the party, extending its majority to include control of almost all the legislatures in the Union, certainly intended to dominate the general government and did for over ten years after the end of the war.

They affect to adhere to the forms of the Constitution, while they utterly disregard not only its spirit but also its express provisions and all the liberty and protection which it assures to the citizen. They have devised the boldest and most revolutionary measures under the guise of law and executive administration as the machinery of their operations.

The first in time was the erection of West Virginia into a new State, and her admission into the Union in palpable violation of the Constitution, so admitted and avowed by many of their leaders both in and out of Congress; and attempted to be justified by them on the ground that the country was in a state of rebellion and revolution, and the Constitution of no obligation whatever. The President took the official opinion of the Attorney General, which was that the measure was without constitutional authority, and yet he approved it.

Note: Again; abstraction. The reality was that the State of Virginia seceded from the Union lawfully and in accordance with the Law of Nations. But the people of that portion if its territory—that which lays west of the Alleghanies—refused to align their allegiance with Virginia once it seceded, and since Virginia could not hold the territory by military means, the people formed a new government and, under it, were admitted by Congress into the Union.

After the congressional elections in the fall of 1862 it was apparent that if those which were to take place in the other States in 1863 were to be decided by the free suffrages of their people, Mr. Lincoln and his party would be in a minority in the present House. The success of their projects and the retention of power by them made it necessary that they should have the majority in the House as well as in the Senate. He therefore ordered the military authorities to interfere and overthrow the freedom of elections, and to depose the State laws and officers for conducting them in Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware, to the extent of securing a majority for him in the House.

Note: Mr. Davis's statement accurately records the facts.

The President in this way defeated the election of eight, and probably ten, of his political opponents, and elected that number of friends in their stead, which made a relative difference in the party strength of the House of sixteen or twenty, and secured to him and his measures and party its majority. To that extent he was equally a usurper with Caesar, Cromwell, and Bonaparte.

But Mr. Lincoln has long since imbibed other views and projects of personal ambition. A desire for reelection has seized upon him. It now possesses all the mind and heart and soul that he has. He is no statesman, but a mere political charlatan. He has inordinate vanity and conceit. He is a consummate dissembler, and an adroit and sagacious demagogue. He has the illusion of making a great historical name for himself in connection with the total abolition of slavery in the United States. He is, and always has been, as uncompromisingly opposed to slavery as the most ultra-radical, but preferred to overthrow it with some show of legal and constitutional authority; and that it should be effected gradually, and not by sudden and violent change.

He issued another edict, the effect of which was to demolish all the constitutions and governments of the rebel States, and among them Tennessee and Arkansas and other States, whose constitutions have not been changed in a particle within many years before the rebellion; and to authorize one tenth of as many people as voted in them at the last presidential election to reconstruct and to carry on their State governments. He prescribed as the indispensable condition that all men who took part in the reconstruction must renounce their negro property, and take an oath to support his war policy as embodied in all his proclamations and the laws of Congress passed by his party.

He pledged his faith to support and defend these spurious State governments by the power of the United States armies and navies. All their elections were to be under the surveillance of the President's military subordinates; and consequently none but his minions and tools could vote or hold office. The reorganization of those States is to be virtually by him and for all his purposes. The world never witnessed a more lawless and daring political enterprise, and, except in the feature of blood, it comes up to the measure of the greatest usurpations!

Mr. Lincoln seizes upon all this power. Under this presidential autocracy, old, or eastern,
as well as West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and other rebel States have been or are to be readmitted into the Union, and to take part with the other States in its government. By the present ratio all Virginia east, west, and rebel, would be entitled to eleven Representatives in Congress. believe a separate State could and would be organized out of East Tennessee, and two in Maryland, one upon the eastern and the other upon the western shore, without the least regard to constitutional difficulties. The new State has three, and it is a question what portion of the residue the few counties of the other division of the State within our military lines can rightfully have, and a yet more difficult one what number of electoral votes in the presidential election will be the right of those few counties.

But Mr. Lincoln is a cautious and far-seeing man. He has had still another provision made, first and mainly for his own personal success, subordinately for that of his party. The Territories of Colorado and Nevada have already, at the present session, been admitted as new States into the Union; and the chairman of the Committee on Territories has told us, and no doubt truly, that Nebraska will also be admitted. Thus there will be admitted three more new States, each with one Representative and two Senators, having an aggregate of eleven electoral votes and an equal strength in the Baltimore convention.

The greatest good that could now fall to the lot of the people of those Stales would be the speediest suppression of the rebellion by all constitutional measures and means, and by the expulsion from power of the party that has possession of the Government and is ruling the country and so recklessly rushing both upon ruin. I look for the consummation of the first to the continued efforts of our brave and numerous soldiery and the  submission of the rebels. For the second I still rely upon the peaceful remedy of the ballot-box, applied by the sovereign power of the United States; and if it were applied so as to produce that great change, I believe that the cessation of the war, the submission and reconciliation of the rebels, the reconstruction of the Union, and the vindication of the laws and Constitution, with renewed guarantees and strength, would all speedily ensue. But if the dominant party can continue their power and rule, either by the will or acquiescence of the people or the exercise of the formidable powers which it has usurped, I am notable to see any termination of the present and still growing ills short of the ordeal of general and bloody anarchy.

In the Senate, March 31, 1864

Mr. SUMNER. I take it that each branch of the Government can interpret the Constitution
for itself. I think that Congress is as good an authority in its interpretation as the Supreme
Court, and I hope that Congress, in its legislation, will proceed absolutely without any respect to a decision which has already disgraced the country and which ought to be expelled from its jurisprudence.

Note: This is a bizzare political theory that haunts us today—the idea that each individual congressman, or senator, just because he or she takes an oath proscribed by the Constitution is "as good an authority in its interpretation as the Supreme Court." Given the plain language of the constitution, the final interpretation of its meaning was intended by the founders to reside in the Supreme Court. Why else have a "supreme" court? The theory—again, abstraction—sprung into existence as the means by which the radical Republicans could claim the power to negate the Supreme Court's decision, in In Re Dred Scott, that an African could never be a citizen of the United States.

Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, if the opinion of the Senator from Massachusetts was conclusive upon all such questions, and guided and controlled the public mind, it might be considered now as settled that the decision of the Supreme Court in that case was a disgrace. But I have yet to be advised that the honorable member, either by nature or by education, has attained so much intellectual celebrity, or possesses such transcendent mental ability as to be able to pronounce ex cathedra against a decision pronounced by the Supreme Court of the United States.

There are many men, the equals of the honorable Senator, to say the least, intellectually, who think that that decision was anything but an outrage. However they may regret it because of its effects, and however they may regret that the Constitution should have been so framed as to leave that question an open one, yet there are throughout the United States, I repeat, the equals of the honorable member from Massachusetts, and I say it with no view to disparage him, who think very differently of that opinion; and if the honorable member will read—prejudice cast aside, if he can cast it aside upon questions of this description—the opinion of the majority of the court as pronounced by the Chief Justice, he will I think admit that there is in that opinion at least so much plausibility that very honest men may think that the conclusion to which it led the learned Chief Justice was right.

And I have never heard any complaint of that decision, I mean as to the motives by which it is supposed it was governed, or any complaint in relation to the authoritative character of that decision except the one to which I alluded just now; and in reference to that one individually, I felt at the time and have felt ever since that there was considerable difficulty.

The suit was instituted by Dred Scott, who was of African descent, in the courts of the United States. The master against whom the application for his freedom was instituted pleaded that because he was an African he was not a citizen; and as the act of 1789, constituting the circuit courts of the United States, limited the jurisdiction of that court in cases of that description to controversies between citizens of different States, (following in that respect the language of the Constitution,) he maintained that upon that ground irrespective of the question whether he was free or not, by having been carried into the State of Illinois where slavery did not exist, or having been carried north of the Missouri compromise line, where slavery was rohibited—the suit itself must be dismissed.

Note: Revery Johnson corrects and succinctly states the precise issue framed by the case. Chief Justice Taney, in deciding it, went beyond it to state much broader rulings regarding the powers of the president and of congress in the matter of "compromises" and regulations regarding the Territories. The suit was a manufactured one in the sense that Scott was like a plaintiff in a class action; a stand-in. As soon as the decision was published, Tyler Blow of St. Louis paid Mrs. Emerson, the owner of Scott's labor, $3,000 for title and then manumitted him.

The Supreme Court decided —contrary to the opinion of the court below, who ruled against the objection—that the objection was well taken; and of course they decided that any judgment pronounced in that case by the court below, whatever may have been the judgment, or any judgment which the Supreme Court should have pronounced in that case, would be of no avail if the court had no jurisdiction over the parties to the controversy. The Chief Justice in giving the opinion of the court, however, and speaking in that particular for six of the judges, I think, supposed that there was a difference between cases brought into the Supreme Court of the United States upon writ of error or appeal from the circuit courts of the United States and cases brought before it by appeal or writ of error under the twenty-fifth section of the judiciary act; that in the latter class of cases, by the very terms of the judiciary act of 1789, the jurisdiction of the court was confined to certain specific questions, questions involving the Constitution of the United States; questions involving the constitutionality of a law of a State on the ground that it was in conflict with the Constitution of the United States; questions involving the constitutionality or construction of an act of Congress; but he supposed, speaking for the court —whether correctly or not I am not here to contend-:- that. in a case brought up from a circuit court of the United States, it was the right and duty of the Supreme Court to decide the case upon all the grounds on which it had been decided in the court below; and inasmuch as the court below decided against the plea to the jurisdiction and then went on to decide that having jurisdiction the party was not entitled to his freedom, to which the Supreme Court came, yet the Supreme Court thought it proper to examine into the latter question as well as the first.

Note: for you students, the deep thinking ones I mean, Johnson puts it perfectly.caption His choice of words he minces to be sure they are true. He says, "he thinks," that six justices bought on to Chief Justice Taney's view. Is this statement objectively true? The opinions of the justices take up more than 150 pages, a book. Who of you have read it, page by page, comparing what Johnson says, to what the record shows? It is an almost impossible task, a digging up of truth buried in the dust of centuries past: What difference does it make, who cares, if you discover it?

Now, Mr. President, I think, whatever may be the opinion of the honorable member from Massachusetts, or of any other member of the Senate, that if there is any department of the Government which, from the beginning of its organization to the present hour, the public, in the general, may be proud of, it is the judicial department of the Government as far as the Supreme Court constitutes a portion of that department. And I am not singular in that opinion. It is not necessary to advert to what was the impression of the people of the United States, the bar, and the public, during the days when that tribunal was presided over by Marshall, for the purpose of calling to the recollection of the Senate that, in years past, there has been an explicit confidence in the absolute integrity of every member of the court.

Chief Justice Roger Taney's Integrity is Criticised in the Senate

Although it would seem perhaps inappropriate, let me say to the honorable member from Massachusetts that much as he may now disparagingly think of the venerable man who presides over the deliberations of that tribunal, and has for the last twenty or-thlrty years, he is not aIone in that particular.

TaneyWhen his name was before the Senate of the United States for confirmation, first as justice of the court, and secondly as Chief Justice, his confirmation was resisted steadily, zealously, by, among others. Clay of Kentucky. There was hardly an opprobrious epithet which, as he told me himself afterwards, he failed to use against the nomination; and form a conviction that the nominee was unfit, and would prove to be unfit, for the discharge of the duties of the judicial station. But I say it, and it is due to the memory of the dead, and due to him who now survives, survives tremblingly, his life having been protracted much beyond, as we know, the ordinary period of human life, and who has devoted himself with untiring energy, and with exclusive devotion, and with unsurpassed ability, to the duties of his station, that after he had been upon that bench some four or five years, and Mr. Clay had been the witness, from having practiced before him and read his decisions, of the manner in which his duties had been discharged—

Mr. SUMNER. The multiplication table tells us that two and two make four. Now, if a tribunal honored like the Supreme Court should undertake to declare that two and two make five, and a Senator as distinguished as the Senator from Maryland should uphold the high tribunal in its decision, I do not think that it would be presumptuous in me to call that decision in question. But the Dred Scott decision was as absurd and irrational as such a reversal of the multiplication table, besides shocking the moral sense of mankind.

The Senator will pardon the little scruple with which I now denounce it. I claim nothing for myself. I may be weak. But, according to the measure of my abilities as God has given them to me, I enter a standing protest against that atrocious judgment, which was false in law and also false in the history with which it sought to maintain its false law.

Note: The two major statements that Chief Justice Taney made in his Dred Scott opinion were that, first, an African could not become a citizen of the United States because his State of residence might recognize him as a citizen. Though Sumner and a great many critics of Taney since, might not like it, the statement is certainly based on intelligent reasoning. Second, Taney took the position, again with intelligent reasoning, that the members of Congress did not have the power to tie a newly organized territorial government's admission into the Union as a State, to its domestic policy; i.e., dictate to the government what its domestic policy must be, if it is to be admitted. But, again, keep in mind, that these issues were analyzed by Taney as abstractions, and as abstractions his conclusions cannot be reasonably said by lawyers to be clearly incorrect. The problem was not Taney's reasoning, but the history and wording of the Constitution. For more on Taney's decision, see In. Re Dred Scott.

MR. SAULSBURY of Delaware. I know the popular doctrine is, that if a convention is calledsaulsbury by two thirds of the States and proposes any amendments whatever to the Constitution, which amendments are ratified by three fourths of the States, such amendments then become the supreme law of the land, and are binding on each and every State, including those who had not assented to them as well as those who had. Such is not the opinion which 1 entertain of this matter. I may be in error; I know my view is against the popular opinion; but let us test it and see who is right and who is wrong.

Note: Mr. Saulsbury, a Democrat from a slave state, has an intelligent point. Speaking of "property" in its ordinary sense, the Constitution expressly states that the Government of the Union cannot take private property for a public purpose without providing the owner with just compensation. But, while he supposes the framers would never have intended the amemdment process to take property without compensation, what is involved here is a legal relationship between human beings that imposes on one the legal duty to provide his labor to the other and no other. A relationship recognized by law can be extinquished by law. It is not the person that is owned, it is the person's labor.

Who framed this Constitution? Who made it? The preamble to the Constitution commences, "We, the people of the United States," and hence some say that this is a popular Government; and they would have you believe that it has the same effect as though the people in mass meeting had framed it.

Note: The phrase—"We the people of the United States—is ambiguous. Its meaning must be derived from the context in which it is made. As a plain matter of fact, the Philadelphia Convention offered the proposed constitution to the Congress of the States which existed by virtue of the Articles of Confederation. The Congress offered the proposed constitution to the Legislatures of each of the then sovereign states and they, in turn, gave it to the people to decide whether to ratify it, in a convention assembled in each state. According to the Constitution's express words, when nine sovereign States ratified it, it became legally operative as to them. So the phrase—We the people of the United States—plainly does not mean the whole people residing in the thirteen states that formed the new union.

Sir, that clause of the Constitution is susceptible of a rendering perfectly legitimate which would do away with this idea, even if the preamble to the Constitution could govern its provisions, and that is, "We, the people of the States united," who are but the people of the United States.

Sir, that Constitution was framed by the States, by the people of the States, who elected delegates to their conventions or Legislatures. It was submitted separately to each State. It never was submitted to the people of the United States as an aggregate body. It was not even submitted to the Congress of the United States elected by the people from the particular States. It was not submitted to a general convention of delegates elected in the different States, but it was submitted directly and immediately to the States themselves. It was to bind no State, and had no effect in any State except those States which, in their independent and separate character, ratified it.

Our seceding fathers did not withdraw en masse from the old Articles of Confederation. The State which I have the honor in part to represent, although now one of the least populous in the Union, was the first seceder. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other States followed, until finally New Hampshire made secession complete from the other States by ratifying that Constitution.

Note: At that point, by ratifying the Constitution, the people of the nine states made the constitution operative as to them, thereby withdrawing their allegiance to the "perpetual" union they had made with the Articles of Confederation. In other words, they had seceded from a union they had promised each other would be perpetual, leaving behind Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island, and gave their allegiance to the new government framed by the constitution. The political situation, then, was no different than the situation in 1861, when eleven states seceded from a union between thirty-two states. The American political principle at work, here, is that the people of the states are sovereign; and as such they have the political right to change their allegiance to Government whenever they decide it is injurious to their life, liberty, and happiness. So, for both sides of the argument going on here, the source of their authority is the Declaration of Independence.

New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and Rhode Island were left to determine the great issue of peaceable separation or forcible opposition to it. They were left to try the power of military coercion or to exclaim that their wayward sisters might depart in peace. New York and Virginia soon seceded from the old Confederation and came in, and finally North Carolina; but Rhode Island would not whip them back again.

Note: So, the legal and political issue of secession necessarily must be resolved by a decision by those left behind whether they have the means and will to force the seceding states to stick to their union.

1 am not going to discuss the question of the power of the Federal Government to coerce States back into the Union. This is not the time to discuss any such question. It has been discussed heretofore. We are now engaged in war, and we must look to the great and momentous issues of war and to the circumstances by which we are surrounded. 1 do not propose to enter into any discussion of that character; but I will say this, as a historical and legal truth, that there was as much authority in Rhode Island and these other States, when the nine left them, to coerce them back and make them live up to their plighted faith, for the preservation of this "perpetual Union," to which their honors were plighted, as there is in the Federal Government to coerce any of the seceded States back again.

Those, however, were practical days. Practical men lived in those days. They pursued astatue different plan, and a "more perfect Union" was formed than that created by the Articles of Confederation. If, from this terrible war and the struggles between the several States, a more perfect Union shall be formed, a Union in which the rights of the citizen and of the States shall be respected, and in which civil liberty shall be preserved, no one will be more rejoiced than myself. But, sir, I deny the proposition that it is competent for three fourths of the States by an amendment of the Constitution to say to any dissenting State, "This shall be your Constitution, and you shall live in this Union notwithstanding we have interfered with your independent control over your domestic rights. " Let us test the doctrine.

slave groupI look at the subject of slavery only in a practical light and in its legal constitutional aspects. Convince me that your policy is authorized by the Constitution of the United States and by the rights of the States, and will conduce to the advancement of the white race and the improvement of the African race, and I will support it. Senators on the other side have as much fondness for the system of human slavery as I have, although we differ in our theories in reference to it. 1 look at it in a practical light; they in a theoretical light. I regard it neither as unconstitutional, illegal, immoral, impious, or sinful in any aspect of the case, but in perfect accordance with the ways of Providence to man.

Sir, property is not regulated and was not intended to be regulated by the Constitution of the United States. Property is the creature of the law of the State, and whenever this Government undertakes, either by legislative enactment or operating through and by three fourths of the States, to say to the people of any State, " We will say what shall be property and what shall not be property, within your midst, it violates the purposes and objects for which the Constitution was framed.

Note: Property is not regulated by law. Relationships are regulated by law: when does one person's right to use property a certain way end? That is the question.

The Constitution of the United States is a contract made for the government of the people of the whole United States. It is a contract to which, in the language of Mr. Madison, the States themselves are parties, and it is to be construed just as any other contract is to be construed, by its own terms and by the surrounding circumstances showing the objects and the purposes for which it was formed.

What were those purposes? To form a union among the States for common purposes, not to give them the control over the domestic relations existing in the States, not to regulate the right and title to property in the States.

But there were great common purposes to be served by the formation of this Union which could be better served by the States in the aggregate than by the States separately. They were entrusted with the interests of the States so far as intercourse with foreign nations were concerned, with the regulation of commerce, with the coinage of money, and many other things. But the framers of that instrument show in it the object which they had in forming it, because they delegate the powers which the Federal Government should have, and then declare that the powers not therein delegated, and not prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.

Note: Saulsbury is correct, of course. The people of the States chose to tie their allegiance to the General Government of the Union for two purposes: First, to show a united front to the great powers of the world that where testing them—Britain, France, Spain. And, second, to provide a means of regulation of their relations between themselves. But there the power of the Union government stopped: the people of the States granted it no power to interfere in the human relations within their states. Each State retained the sovereign power to do as the people within its borders pleased.

Sir, if you can go into the States and attempt to regulate the relation of master and slave, you can go into a State and attempt to regulate the relation between parent and child or husband and wife. If you have a right to go into a State and say that a particular species of property, which has heretofore been property, shall not in the future be property, you have a right to say that any other subject of property heretofore shall not be property in the future; and you have a right to say in that case, by way of amendment, that there shall be no such thing as property at all.

Note: Here, Saulsbury is losing coherence. He uses the pronoun "you" as a synonym for the general government, when, in fact, it is the people of three fourths of the states deciding to amend the powers of the government. Plainly, the framers intended that this super majority was sufficient to justify imposing on the dessenting one fourth the responsibility of compliance. Certainly the framers recognized that the dissenting one fourth—being in their minds sovereign States—had the inherent natural right to secede from the Union, but would they? Being only one fourth? Would the issue at stake be so important to them that they would leave the security of the Union behind and seek to establish themselves independently of it in the world? What real chance would they have, if the three fourths decided to coerce them, as New York and Virginia, with North Carolina and Rhode Island, might havge done, in 1789?

It will not do to answer me by saying that no convention of the States would do this; that three fourths of the States could not be found to ratify any such provision as that. Why, sir, the thing is just as likely now to be done in the future as it was likely, when that Constitution was framed, that in seventy-five years a dominant party in this country would attempt to invade a State to determine the question of what should be property by abolishing an existing institution.

Note: Remember, here, that these men are arguing about the Congress resolving to send a proposed amendment to the Constitution, to the States to ratify, which extinquishes the legal right to coerce an African to labor for a white person, in a time when their armies are on the verge of crushing the military power of the Confederacy, destroying the means of the people of the Confederacy to resist being forced to give allegiance to the Union.

But, sir, this provision goes further. It is not only prospective in character so as to affect future rights, but it absolutely proposes by an amendment of the Constitution to sweep away and blot out hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of property in the States. That is the destruction of property. It operates for the destruction of property, because if this amendment becomes incorporated in the Constitution, that property ceases. Then I ask, where is the difference in principle between the destruction of this amount of property invested in slaves and the destruction of that amount of property invested in manufactures, in agriculture, or in the mechanic arts?

Note: "The destruction of property?" No, the amendment extinquishes the legal right to coerce a person to labor for you against that person's will. It is the relation—defined by "right" and "duty" that is destroyed, not "property." The person is not the "property," his labor is.

Again, can a convention frame an amendment, or can Congress propose an amendment to the Constitution, which, being ratified by three fourths of the States, shall become the supreme law of the land, by which there shall be made an equal distribution of property throughout the United States? Can they do that?

Note: Saulsbury states the case for Karl Marx. Of course the Congress can propose and of course the people can ratify the proposal, if that is what they want to do: make communism the basis of the Union's economic system, just as they might make slavery the basis of the system. And, of course, the one fourth who dissent have the sovereign right to secede, if they can.

Let it be known that it is within the power of three fourths of the States to do that, and a party may rise up in the country most clamorous for the exercise of that power. I apprehend, however, it will be admitted that a convention of three fourths of the States cannot propose an amendment, which, being ratified by three fourths of the States, can do any of the things that 1 have mentioned.

But it may be said it can only be done in reference to slavery. What more power has a ratification of a proposed amendment to the Constitution, by three fourths of the States, over the question of slavery than it has over any other description of property ? Show me the distinction.

Slaves were as much property in the eye of the framers of that instrument, in the eye of the existing Constitution, as any other species of property. If three fourths of the States have a right to destroy property in slaves they have a right to destroy it in anything else. Their power is just as extensive, and no more, in reference to this species of property as any other; for I presume we are not to be asked to amend the Constitution upon humanitarian grounds.

The sinfulness of slavery, or the evil of slavery among those with whom it exists, is not to be invoked as affording power, in the absence of anything else, to make this proposed change. If that be the source whence is derived the authority to make this amendment to the Constitution it is an authority against which I cannot argue, for the simple reason that 1 and my antagonist never could agree. In my judgment he advocates a sickly sentiment, I a practical question. He professes to be wiser than the Almighty, under whose providence this system of human bondage has been allowed to exist in all ages of the past.

Note: This is the problem with "God." We, humans, use "God" as our excuse for our conduct and behavior. It's "God's" fault that we make Africans labor for us as slaves. The Bible records slavery as "God's"will. When we get over the fantasy of "God," maybe we will face ourselves in the mirror and see there is no one at fault and nobody to blame but ourselves.

We make Africans our slaves because we can, because we have the physical power, because it's in our self-interest to exercise it. Having done it, now they are here with us, and since we can't get rid of them now that we don't need them, they must always be kept in slavery else they will demand political and social equality with us; they will insist they are entitled to an equal position in our community and we will become a mogrel race.

Wiser than the Saviour of the world, who when he was on earth never interfered with the law of slavery, although he walked up and down the plains of Judea, where there were slaves, and the law of whose people recognized the existence of slavery—the law that was given to them from Mount Sinai, amid lightning and thunder, amid smoke and flame; and recognizing the existence not only of this relation but the rightfulness of it. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, his servant, (slave,) his ox, his ass, nor anything that is his."

But, Mr. President, we are told that the reason why this amendment should be made is, that slavery has caused the present national difficulties; that if it had not been for the existence of slavery there would be no war. The honorable chairman of the Judiciary Committee [Mr. Wilson] tells us that even if the present troubles have been brought on by the interference of northern fanatics with the institution of slavery, then if slavery had not existed there would have been nothing for them to interfere with, and the rebellion would not have taken place; that if it was brought on by the desire of the people of the South to strengthen and encourage the institution, then if it had not existed the rebellion would not have taken place; and he seems to think that to it we owe the loss of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and most of the ills under which we are now suffering.

Note: We must face the facts: There were 4 million Africans living in the Union's southern states, living alongside 5 millions of white people. Had these Africans been white who can seriously think they would not have faded into the general population by 1861 as free persons and citizens of the states in which they resided? It was national racism—an unwillingness of the white people to live in equality of citizenship with black people—that was the bedrock reason slavery remained lawful in the United States of 1861, not that the labor of the African brought more profit to the white man than it would have, had the African been free.

He therefore proposes as the great remedy, I presume not only to heal our present troubles, but as a bond of peace in the future, that the institution of slavery shall be wiped out by a change of the Constitution. If there had been no fire, so large a portion of the city of New York as was burned down in 1835 would not have been burned down. If there was no water, there would be no overflowing floods. If there was no sun in the heavens, no man would fall prostrate to the earth and die from the heat of that sun. Let the Senator correct all the ills of life. Let him quench the fire that warms all the human race, and no incendiary then could burn our dwellings; let him dry up the fountains of the deep and close the windows of heaven that there shall be no more water; let him pluck the sun from on high that his heat shall no more cause death.

But, sir, I hold that if you adopt this amendment, and you could get three fourths of the States to ratify it, it would not be obligatory upon the others for another reason; and that is, that you cannot propose this amendment to all the States, as contemplated by the Constitution of the United States. There are some eight or nine of these States now out of the Union, over which the Federal Government does not pretend to exercise control. What is the meaning of the clause that the Congress of the United States may propose amendments, which, when ratified by three fourths of the States, shall become a part of the Constitution? It means that you shall propose those amendments, not to a portion of the States, but to all the States, so that all the States may have the power to act upon them.

Note: Saulsbury now raises a new and distinct argument which hangs on the abstract question whether the seceded States are legally out of the Union. If not out, as Lincoln argued for a year or two, then their votes must count in the ratification process. But, if out, then their votes are irrelevant to the process. If out, those still in will easily ratify the amendment as Missouri, Maryland, and Delaware are now changing their own constitutions to abolish slavery, leaving only Kentucky still clinging to the illusion the institution will survive the war. But, if still in, then there are enough no votes to defeat ratification. In the real world, the war effectively destroyed the sovereignty of the States, rendering them the provinces of the general government that they are today.

I ask you, suppose we were at peace today; suppose this revolution had never occurred, and it had been considered proper and necessary by a majority of the people of the United States to change their fundamental law by making amendments to the Constitution; suppose, in reference to this matter or in reference to any other matter, you had adopted a joint resolution proposing those amendments, and you submitted them to three fourths of the States, and not to the other one fourth, and that they had been ratified by three fourths of the States, would you tell me that they would be a part and parcel of the Constitution because they were ratified by three fourths of the States?

Note: Saulsbury's hypothetical does not fit the actual facts: Virginia lawfully seceded from the Union—whether the "law" invoked is that of the Constitution as a compact between sovereign states, or that of the Law of Nations. Therefore, Lincoln's protests to the contrary, in 1861, Virginia being out of the Union it is now a foreign power competing with the Union for living space. It has no legitimate interest in what amendments the Union adopts to its constitution.

Hence occurs the principle with which I started that the Constitution of the United States is the same as any other contract. It is a contract between the States, who, in the language of Mr. Madison, are parties to it, and the plain, honest import of this clause of the Constitution giving the power of ratification to three fourths of the States is and must be so understood by all right-thinking men, that all the States shall have the power of passing upon that proposed amendment, of ratifying or rejecting it, and that if any State is denied that privilege, if your amendment is not proposed to any State, it cannot operate upon that State, because it would be in violation of the just terms and fair interpretation of the Constitution. The correctness of this principle would not be denied at all in reference to a contract between parties in a court.

Then I say you cannot propose to have your proposition acted on by a portion of the States, because you have actually declared them a hostile power, and are engaged in a war with them. You have recognized as between you and those very States belligerent rights. This only shows the impropriety of this proposition at the present time. If you wish to make an amendment to the Constitution of the United States which shall be binding and obligatory in all future time upon the parties to that Constitution, why not wait till peace is restored; why not wait till passion ceases to inflame the breast and madness to warp the judgment and craze the brain of men? The fundamental law of a great people should never be changed amid the shock of arms. Reason should sit calmly on her throne; judgment should be brought to the "line" before acting on such a question.

But, sir, I oppose this proposed amendment on another ground . It is impossible for it to be ratified by a vote of three fourths of the States. The senator from Illinois, the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, said it would require twenty-eight States, and he named the States which he supposed would vote to ratify it. He included all the adhering States with the exception of my own (Delaware), and he thought she could not stand against it. Let me tell the honorable Senator that if the resolution is passed, I do not suppose my State will be in the way of it; not because she will approve of it; not because the majority of her people will not be honestly opposed to it and would not vote against it, but because you do not intend that they shall ever act upon it.

The Senator said that Maryland had inaugurated this policy, and she would be in favor of it. I have some acquaintance with the people of that State. She will agree to it, just as the Senator, if met by a highwayman, solitary, alone, and unarmed, presenting a pistol at his head and demanding his purse, would agree to give it up.

But he expects to receive accessions from Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Louisiana in favor of this proposed amendment. I appeal to the honorable Senator, would he have an amendment to the Constitution and get up in his place in the Senate of the United States and declare that that was an amendment adopted. . .


MR. CLARK of New Hampshire. But, Mr. President, I do not propose to pursue this constitutional argument. 1 propose to show that the great evils of slavery as it now exists in Clarkthese United States have arisen from this very Constitution. Yes, sir, slavery in the United States owes its giant growth to the Constitution; not that it was created by it, for it existed before, but that it was planted in it, fenced round and protected by it, so that no national power could weed it out short of an amendment to the Constitution. Sir, this fearful destruction of life, this devastation of homes, this marching and struggling of slaughtering armies, these graves by Manassas and Malvern Hill, by the Rappahannock and Rapidan, by the Chickahominy and the Chickamauga, by Cedar and Lookout and South Mountains, at Shiloh and Murfreesboro, at Vicksburg and Port Hudson, at Wagner and James's Island, at Antietam and Gettysburg; these hospitals with their rows of sickened and maimed inmates; these deadhouses out of which is carted away the dead soldier, often unattended, to rest in the soil he gave his life to defend; these "widows' weeds," these "orphans'  tears," are but the terrible harvest from the immunities, the protection, and the culture secured by the Constitution to the accursed institution.

Note: An easy answer? Once the Union had established itself as a formidable power in the world, and the immigrants began pouring in, the shortage of labor had passed that induced the white men to force Africans to labor as slaves. Why didn't the politicians of 1830-1850, and even those of 1860, stand up in their places in the Senate and the House and offer legislation such as a homestead act, offering the Africans the opportunity to get possession of forty acres of land in the Territories of the United States, with financial support for a year, and become self-sufficient; offer the Slave States money from the sale of the lands in the Old Northwest Territory that Virginia had deeded to the Union, in 1787, to ease the economic disruption abolition entailed; offer the Free States incentives to abrogate their laws which prohibited Africans from residing in their territories? Why not? Because the white men of the North were as racists as their counterparts in the South. They wanted nothing to do with Africans, wanted them to remain exactly where they were, and did not care what happened to them.

And there is another harvest, too, where by the shores, and in the bays, the rivers, and the roadsteads, in the caverns of the "deep blue sea," lies many a sailor boy cut down by this terrible reaper.

The framers of the Constitution forgot, or overlooked, or disregarded this law in human affairs. They attempted to form a more perfect Union, and yet in that very bond of Union they admitted antagonistic forces which have rent that Union asunder. They established justice upon a foundation apparently stable, but with a material in it so unfitted for the structure that it has toppled the whole to destruction. 'They thought to insure domestic tranquility by planting together seeds of discord, which have ripened to an awful harvest of civil war and blood. Seeking liberty to themselves and posterity, but denying it to an inferior and subject race, they have nearly lost it to both.

Note: In 1789, the seven Free States needed the six Slave States to stand with them against the world: Spain pressing against the Union in the south and southwest; France and Britain from the north; and a horde of savage Indians to be pushed back beyond the Mississippi. One for all and all for one. But the need was gone by 1860, and the Free States now held 26 million white people against the South's 5 million.

Can a man take fire in his bosom and not be burned? No more can man admit the idea of human bondage into the charter of a free Government and not find it in the end a blackened scroll crumbling to ashes in his grasp. Sir, Mr. Madison, with scrupulous care, excluded the word "slave" from the Constitution (form), but by a fatal mistake allowed the thing itself to remain (substance). He chased away the shadow but left the substance, with the same fatuity that would induce a parent to call an asp or a scorpion a pretty bird, and leave it to his offspring to deal with. True it may be and is that he and his compeers thought slavery would gradually die out, but they little knew the terrific vitality of the fiend which. . .(the terrific vitablity of the race prejudice the whites of the latter time would feel.)

The question is on the amendment of the Senator from Kentucky [Mr. Davis] to the
amendment reported by the committee.

Mr. DAVIS. I withdraw that amendment, and offer this one which I now send to the Chair.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment of the Senator from Kentucky as now modified will be read.

The Secretary read the amendment to the amendment, which was to strike out all after the word "namely," in line eight of the committee's amendment, and insert: No African, or person whose mother or grandmother is or was an African, shall he a citizen of the United States, or be eligible to any civil or military office, or to any place of trust or profit under the United States.

Mr. DAVIS called for the yeas and nays, and they were ordered, and taken with the following result:

YEAS—Messrs. Buckalew (PA), Carlile ("VA"), Davis (KY), Powell (KY), Riddle (DE), and Saulsbury (DE)—6.

NAYS—Messrs. IJrown, Chandler, Clark, Cowan, Dixon, Dooliitle, Fesscnden, Foster, Hale, Harlan, Harris, Henderson, Howard, Howe, Johnson, Lane of Indiana, McDougall, Morpan, Morrill, Pomeroy, llamscy, Sherman, Sumner, Ten Kyck, Trumbull, Van Winkle, Wade, and

Mr. JOHNSON (when his name was called) voted " yea;" but before the result was announced said: I am not sure that I understood the proposition on which I voted in the affirmative.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. It is a proposition to strike out the amendment reported by
the committee, and to insert the amendment of the Senator from Kentucky in lieu of it.

Mr. JOHNSON. Then I vote "nay." 1 thought it was an independent proposition.

Mr. VAN WINKLE. I wish to state that my colleague [Mr. Willey] has gone away, supposing that no vote would be taken this afternoon.

The PRESIDING OFFICER announced the vote—yeas 6, nays 28; a quorum voting.

Mr. WILKINSON. In section five, line two, I move to strike out the words " white male inhabitant, "and insert " male citizen of the United States and those who have declared their intention to become such;" so that the clause will read: That every free male citizen of the United States, and those who have declared their intention to become such, above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been an actual resident of said Territory at the time of the passage of this act, shall be entitled to vote at the first election, &c.

Mr. JOHNSON of Maryland. If that amendment is adopted it is about to inaugurate a policy which seems to me very ill-advised. 1 speak it with great respect. The bill as originally drafted in this respect is in accordance with the uniform practice of the Government from its beginning to the present time. The effect of the amendment—and 1 suppose that is the object of the amendment —is to admit to the elective franchise in the proposed Territory black men as well as white. The black population that has heretofore been in a state of slavery, to the extent that our armies have gone, and to the legitimate extent that may be attributed to the declarations of the President in the form of proclamations, and the laws which have been or are proposed to be passed, and the constitutional amendment which may or may not be adopted, is to be emancipated; and all the Africans now in the United States arc some four millions.

I suppose that it can hardly be seriously contended that of that four millions, such portion
of them as have been in a state of slavery from infancy to the present time are intelligent enough or likely to become intelligent enough at once to exercise the right of suffrage. They may go, for aught I know, in numbers to the proposed Territory, and may get the whole control of the Territory. If they do not do it of themselves by their own prompting, they may be induced to do it through the influence of others, and if so we may have among us, perhaps, a question just as likely to excite the public as the question of the existence of slavery in itself.

Note: Here is the crux: the real reason the white people of the times were unwilling to embrace abolition is that the Africans were in some places already, and could become so in other places, the majority race, which means they would end up on top!

I do not propose to discuss it; I rose with no such view; but merely to state my objections to it, and request that when the vote is taken it be taken by yeas and nays.

Mr.SUMNER. My proposition is withdrawn, the Chair understands.

Mr. DAVIS. I was going to make one remark in relation to the proposed verbiage of the Senator from Massachusetts. 1 think that that Senator and all Senators ought to be very guarded in the terms they adopt when they take $500 million of property from other people, in which they have no interest themselves, and propose to give them no compensation for it. When the Parliament of England liberated the slaves in the West Indies they appropriated $20 million as compensation to their owners.

Sir, the owners of no property of that value ever voluntarily dispossessed themselves of it. Whenever any such legislation as that has taken place in the world the legislation has been of a power and by a people that did not own the property. If at the commencement of the war of 1812 a proposition had been made, by legislation or by a change of the Constitution, to take all the shipping interest of New England, and the other States had been strong enough to carry such a measure in the form of legislation or amendment of the Constitution, there did not live a man within the States of New England at that time who would not have been in open revolt against it.

Here are these gentlemen, uninterested in slave property, and, with the exception of one or two in this body, having no interest whatever in it, who actually come up and propose to amend the Constitution and take that property from a great number of people more loyal than themselves, more true to their Government, more true to the true principles of the Constitution and the Union, without making any compensation for that property. Everything is as smooth as a marriage bell when men who do not own the property propose to take it from those who do own it.

Note: In 1860, the white population of Kentucky was 1.5 million. The African population was 225,000. Kentucky, unique among the States, sought to be "neutral" in the war, with a view toward keeping the ravages of war from affecting the state's prosperity. It was the last loyal state to get in line on the abolition question.

Mr. President, if the men who are to pass this amendment were as much interested in this property as those who are opposing it here and elsewhere, there is not one of them but would be found in opposition to it. It is a very beautiful operation, to be sure. They say to us, "We will take from you your property; we will make you no compensation for it; and we will do it under the power to amend the Constitution." Sir, property is a matter of State or domestic institution. The General Government was never intended to have any jurisdiction or authority over the subject of property. What subjects should constitute property, how it should be regulated, whether it should exist and continue in one subject or be discontinued in another subject, are questions which were never intended to be entrusted to the General Government. That is a great and fundamental feature of our Federal and State system of governments. The proposed amendment takes that principle to be true in relation to but one subject of property; but if it strikes at it in relation to one subject of property, it may in relation to all. The power of amendment as now proposed to be exercised imports a power that would revolutionize the whole Government, and that would invest the amending power with a faculty of destroying and revolutionizing the whole Government.

Note: Davis is, in fact, correct in his presentment. The passage of the 13th Amendment changed the fundamental relationship between the states and the general government, the change making the general government supreme in all matters affecting the domestic policies of the states. Whether the issue is abortion, drugs, health care, schooling, marriage etc, it is the Federal Government that sets the standard, not the states. The states have lost their sovereignty, if they ever had it, in the fire of the Civil War.

In my judgment, it is absurd to say that the power of amendment, which is simply a power to reform, a power to improve, imports and authorizes the exercise of a power to destroy. 1 think, if gentlemen are determined to abolish the property in slaves, they have as much right so to amend the Constitution as to make compensation to the owners of the property as they have to deprive the owners of that property of them. If they think the abolition of slavery and the depriving of so many loyal owners of such a large amount of property is such an exercise of authority as that the permanent good of the nation requires it to be done, they ought to have the grace, the justice, the magnanimity to make provision for a reasonable compensation to the owners of that property which they take from the owners. They have as much power to make the compensation as they have to take the property from them.

But, sir, in a closing word, I make my protest against men who have no interest in such a large amount of property as the slave property owned by the loyal people of the United States, undertaking to seize this property without any compensation, ruthlessly, unjustly, and in defiance of the guarantee of property and of justice that the Constitution and Government of the United States gave to all its people. Although I know that the protest of an angel would not be heard, much less the protest of as feeble a worm as I am, I make my last protest against a class of gentlemen, against a portion of the people of the United States, against the great preponderating sectional power of the United States, depriving loyal owners of millions of property, without having the justice, the magnanimity, or the grace to make the least provision for compensation, as the English Parliament did to the slaveholders in the West India islands.

Mr. DOOLITTLE of Wisconsin. I should be glad if I had the time to reply to some of the remarks of the Senator from Kentucky; but I will forbear doing so, hoping that we shall now come to a vote. On some future occasion I may answer him.

The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Massachusetts may withdraw his amendment, if there be no objection.

Mr. SUMNER. It is entirely within my power, But the yeas and nays have not been ordered

Mr. McDOUGALL of California. Before the final vote is taken I think it due to myself to make a few remarks, so that my exact position in regard to this whole question can be understood.

This policy will engulf them. It is as simple a truth as has ever been taught by any history. The slaves of ancient time were not the slaves of a different race. The Romans compelled the Gaul and the Celt, brought them to their own country, and some of them became great poets, and some eloquent orators, and some accomplished wits, and they became citizens of the republic of Greece, and of the republic of Rome, and of the empire.

This is not the condition of these persons with whom we are now associated and about whose affairs we undertake to establish administration. They can never commingle with us. It may not be within the reading of some learned Senators, and yet it belongs to demonstrated science, that the African race and the Europeans are different, and I here now say it is a fact established by science that the eighth generation of the mixed race formed by the union of the African and European cannot continue their species. Quadroons have few children; with octoroons reproduction is impossible. It establishes as a law of nature that the African has no improper relation to the European, Caucasian blood. I would have them kindly treated. . .

In the Senate, April 4, 1864

Mr. Howe of Wisconsin.

Mr. President. I have waited for this day, and I am glad to see it. I have waited for it, 1 think, somewhat after the fashion that the people of Judea waited for the coming of Christ, and I am glad to see it. It has been a good while coming; but it is here.

There have been some grand opportunities since the time our fathers gained our independence from Great Britain. And there have been some grand achievements since that time. One took place a very few years subsequently to the 4th of July, 1776. It took place, if I remember aright, on the 13th of July, 1787, when our fathers, by an ordinance of theirs, by an act of their representatives in Congress assembled, ordained that over that great territory where nestle now the magnificent States of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, there should never be any slavery, nor any involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime, forever.

Note: Mr. Howe is correct as far as he goes, but he fails to inform his audience that the ordinance he speaks of, was at the behest of Virginia which held title from the King of Britain to that land. She deeded her title to the United States with the fatal stipulation, to her and her allies in the War of the Rebellion, that slavery be forever prohibited there. It was the military power, in the form of the men who inhabited this land thereafter, that won the civil war for the Union.

But the purpose of today differs from all these greatly, and transcends them all; and today I am content, abundantly content, with the accident of my birth. Today you propose to summon twenty six million people to do, what? Not to do what three million did less than a century ago, challenge their own freedom from a foreign Power.

You propose to summon them today to give freedom, to give freedom not to three but to four million human beings, freedom not from such a bondage as your fathers remonstrated and protested against and resisted, but from a thralldom infinitely worse than they ever dreamed of, than they ever conceived of, than they ever suffered. And that is not all you propose to do. You do not propose simply to invite this great people in this terrible time to give freedom to these four million individuals, but you propose to invite these twenty-six millions to say that no part of their number shall thenceforward forever be empowered to make a slave of any man. You propose to put up a barrier against the holding of slaves anywhere within the jurisdiction of the Government of the United States, anywhere where its flag floats, anywhere where its Constitution is obeyed. Sir, I am ambitious to put my name to that invitation.

The Concept of Capital and Labor in the Context of Slavery

In 1861 your census returned that you had in round numbers about four million human beings who were in this condition of slavery. It is said that the value of those slaves at that time was about $750 each; that they would command on an average that price in the markets of the United States.

Now, when you say that an African is worth $750, what do you mean by it? When a man in South Carolina buys an African from a man in Virginia or elsewhere, and pays $750 for him, what does he mean by it? He means that the African can earn the interest of $750 more than the cost of keeping him.

Query: "the interest of $750 more than the cost of keeping him?" What exactly does this mean in terms of economics? The economics of this are difficult to comprehend. If I invest $750 in General Motors stock, I expect to receive dividends (i.e., a form of interest) from GM. At the same time, I am risking the loss of the $750 as something bad might happen and the market value might fall to the point I can find no willing buyer at any price. Simple enough.

But when I invest $750 in the "ownership" of an African the things gets complicated. As with the stock something bad might happen and the market value of the African might fall to the point I can find no willing buyer at any price. The African may get seriously injured, get sick from a deadly disease; run away to Freedomland.

If none of these things happen, I get the benefit of the African's labor which will earn money for me in some way. If the African labors for me for seven years, I have recovered the value of my original investment, am still reaping profit from his ongoing labor, and can double my capital by selling him.

Yet, I must factor into the profit equation the cost of feeding him, clothing him, sheltering him, providing doctors when he is sick, providing him the implements and animals he needs to be effective in his work. So when I calculate my profit I must deduct from the money I obtain from his labor the outlays of capital I have made to provide his necessities. So what is the average amount of money I ordinarily can expect to obtain in exchange for his labor, less the average amount of money I can expect to spend to meet the cost of the necessities? The books do not say.

And how does the slavery equation of labor compare to the free equation of labor? Instead of making a capital investment at the front end of the master/servant relationship, and instead of taking responsibility for the laborer 24/7, I simply give the man a daily wage that the supply and demand of available labor market allows, and leave him to go his own way. Now my bookkeeping merely has to keep track of wages paid vs. money received as the result of the labor. So, wouldn't I be better off hiring an Irishman than owning an African?

The problem must be solved by reference to the factor of the available labor market. Three million Irishmen and four million Germans came into the United States between 1840 and 1850. Why didn't their presence undercut the African's presence in the labor market? Why didn't they compete with the African for the capitalist's attention, say at least in a state like Missouri, a city like St. Louis? Why, in 1854-58, did Uylessus S. Grant hire African slaves instead of Irishmen, to work his father-in-law's farm?

That is what governs you in buying a pair of oxen, buying a cow, or in buying a machine. You think you can earn with that piece of property the interest of the money you pay for it over and above the cost of keeping the property. When you pay $1,000 for an African or $1,000 for a pair of horses, unless you are a fancy dealer in the one or the other, you do it because you can earn with them the interest of $1,000. Four million slaves, at an average of $750 each, would amount to about three thousand million dollars.

Note: Whatever this fellow is talking about, it does not make intelligent sense. Assume you pay $1,000 for the property interest in the African. Assume the interest rate you might earn on $1,000 is 5% annually. So, you must match the $100 in interest you earn on the investment of $1,000 against what? Against the profit you earn on the product the African produces for you─the profit measured by the cost of maintaining the African in good health in order that the value of your capital investment does not disappear. So what we don't yet know is how much we will get for the product of the African's labor, less the cost of maintaining him in reasonably good health.

To calculate this, you need to assign a value to the cabin the African sleeps in, the clothes you provide him to wear, the food you give him to eat, the doctor and medicines necessary to keep him in health.

At the end of the analysis, the issue, from the point of view of economics, is whether a surplus exists from the product of the African's labor. If there is, then this is what Howe must be referring to as interest earned on the investment and it is this─the surplus─that is the profit stolen from the African by forcing him to labor for you. But we beg the question: Is there, in fact, a surplus? If there is not, why do we invest the thousand dollars in making the African our slave?

When we hire the labor of the Irishman, we pay him a wage. The Irishman uses the wage to pay rent for his hovel, buy clothes, food, and health care for his wife and children. At the end of the month, after these expenses have been paid, does the wage the capitalist paid the Irishman leave him with surplus?

What happens to the African slave when he becomes so injured or ill that he cannot work? What happens to the Irishman?

Setting all this about economics aside, would a reasonable person, whether an African or an Irishman, prefer the security of slavery to the insecurity of free labor? So it is the choice that the State is denying the African. Slavery, then, at the bottom of things, is a system of managing the persons who constitute the pool of available labor.

You know, of course, the answer: You want the freedom, to go your own way and you will take the chances.

I have got over the notion that there is any latitude under the Constitution of the United States that cannot be cultivated by the people of the United States, black or white, white or black. But if 1 am mistaken on this point, I never believed that it was necessary to own black men in order to have the work of black men.

Note: The crux again: When the black men are working, where are they living? Who are they working with? When they are in the majority where they are working, do they vote? Do they ride in the same cars, eat at the same tables, sit in the same theaters, stand at the same bars, stroll in the same parks, swim in the same pools?

Do you say that if you release the authority of the master the slave will cease to work? What makes him work while you own him? Is it your authority? Does he work from a sense of duty to you because you have bought him and paid somebody else for him? Not a bit of it. He works because the State commands him to work. The State commands him to work for this man, and in obedience to the State he works for him.

He works for him knowing that he can get but his daily bread from the produce of his labor. Do you think that when the State withdraws that command, and instead of telling him to work for you, tells him to work for himself and have the benefit of all he earns, he will cease to work? Not a bit of it. There is no philosophy in that; there is no truth in it. It has been tried, and it has been found to be false.

So Now Comes The Real Reason the African is Enslaved

But it is said that the emancipation of these slaves would be fatal to the relation existing between the two races in the States where the two races are (Italics added.) I think 1 have heard my very distinguished friend from Kentucky [Mr. Davis] say over and over again that it would lead to a war of extermination; that one race or the other must be exterminated. I ask, why? I demand to know why. If freedom be given to the black men of Kentucky or of South Carolina, may not their labor still be necessary for the State of Kentucky or of South Carolina? Do you say they are going to commence the work of massacre and slaughter the moment you give liberty to them? Do you say that while you bind them to the necessity of laboring for you for your benefit, they submit to that law in peace and in quiet, but the moment you emancipate them and give them the privilege of working for themselves and enjoying the fruits of their own toil, then they are going to turn marauders and murderers? That is not to be insisted upon; it is not to be believed; it is a libel upon humanity, black or white.

Note: Mr. Howe is arguing a strawman here. It is not that the Africans will turn into murderers, but that in the ordinary course of things they will have political power; that they will insist on social equality, use the same seats on the train, eat at the same restaurants, sit on the same juries. . .

But, sir, they tell us the slave is happy; that he is kindly treated. I heard my friend from Kentucky not long since tell how kindly he treated his own slaves. Do you think I doubt that? Do you think I distrust that? Every kind man, of course, will treat his slaves kindly. Every wise man, whether he be kind or not, will treat his slaves kindly. Do you not think I treat my horses kindly? Do you not think I like them? Why, sir, 1 have imperiled my domestic happiness sometimes by calling them " darlings" when my wife thought I ought to address such language only to her. [Laughter.] Is that a reason for making slaves of men because you do not abuse them? That is not an excuse; that is not a justification.

Mr. President, we have been struggling with this rebellion for three years; and it is one of the saddest facts 1 know of in history, that, although v/e have pretty generally come to concede that in law these rebels are guilty of treason, yet there is to-day a large body of the people, standing almost in the very blood the rebellion has shed, who affect to believe that, after all, this rebellion is one of the respectable kind of rebellions, a pretty decent thing; that if it cannot be justified there is a great deal of excuse for it. I tell you that sentiment is very prevalent throughout these loyal communities and these loyal States to-day.

After struggling with it for three years, after expending our thousands of millions of money and our thousands upon thousands of lives and our rivers of blood in the effort to crush this rebellion, I was shocked, unutterably shocked to hear the other day a Senator, in the employ of this Government of ours and paid out of its Treasury, straining himself lo complain of it the other day, out of a decent regard to loyalty and finding no word in the English language that he dared to use in denunciation of it stronger than to say it was not " wise."

Against what, then, did they rebel? A President had been elected. That was the act of the people. Of that they complained. With the election of the present incumbent they were not satisfied. The election of Mr. Lincoln was known to be obnoxious to them as the election of Mr. Breckinridge was known to be obnoxious to those who voted for Mr. Lincoln. The men who preferred Mr. Breckinridge had the same right to vote for him and enjoyed that right as fully as others, who opposed Mr. Breckinridge, had the right and enjoyed the right to vote for Mr. Lincoln. But is the election of a President of the United States a cause, a justification, or an excuse, even, for rebellion, for all the evils and all the woes of revolution?

The Cause of the War─Fort Sumter?

sumterBut this is not all the evidence 1 have that secession is not the end aimed at, but only a means to the end, which end is the conquest of your Government, the subjugation of it to slavery and to slaveholding. The very first act of war was an attempt at conquest.

The very first gun that was fired at your flag was fired at it as it floated from one of your own vessels in one of your harbors, going to feed one of your own garrisons. Was that to vindicate the independence of the seceded States ? Was that to enable them to be let alone?

Note: The generations of historians which have followed the war, adopt Mr. Howe's view of the event as the truth of history when it plainly is not. Fort Sumter, like Fort Hamilton in New York Harbor, was built on State land with Federal money, for the sole military purpose of providing protection to the State against its harbor being entered by naval vessels of hostile foreign nations, as the British Navy did in the War of Independence and the War of 1812. Once South Carolina seceded from the Union, it demanded that the Union garrison leave the fort but the Federal Government refused, despite the fact that reimbursement for the building of the fort could have been resolved in the ordinary course of diplomacy between the two governments.

It is unclear what Howe is referring to as the first shot, but it appears he means the Star of the West being fired on as it attempted to enter Charleston Harbor, in January 1861,and not the bombardment of the fort, in April 1861. The Star of the West entered the harbor without the permission of either the South Carolina state government, or the Confederate Government. The Confederate Government had agreed to provision the garrison pending its removal from the fort and it performed its promise up to the moment Lincoln's fleet of war ships were reported to be apprpoaching the harbor, at which point the bombardment of the fort began.

If it were true that the ordinance of secession adopted by South Carolina made her an independent State, it certainly could not have transferred to her any of the forts of the United States any more than it could have transferred the forts of Mexico. Or if it did transfer our forts it could not have transferred our troops.

But the next step of the seceders was an act of conquest. The bombardment opened upon one of your own forts, built upon land which you had purchased and paid for, and exclusive jurisdiction of which had been ceded to your Government, on which you had planted a fort with your own money, which was occupied by your troops, over which your flag floated. It was an attempt at subjugation as palpable and as unmistakable when that bombardment opened upon Fort Sumter as if it had been opened upon any one of the forts in the harbor of New York or of Boston.

Note: Exclusive jurisdiction had not been ceded by either South Carolina or New York. The States allowed the forts to be built upon the condition that if the Federal Government were to use them for any purpose other than defending the harbor against invasion, the land the forts were constructed upon, reverted to the State. Lincoln was keeping the fort garrisoned with U.S. troops in order to prevent foreign nations' commercial vessels from entering the harbor, not to protect the harbor from foreign invasion.

There is another reason for believing that what I have asserted of the aim of the rebels is true. It is part of the terribly sad history of those times that your President elect came into this city prior to his inauguration in the nighttime; to avoid assassination.

Note: There was no credible threat against Lincoln's life, at the time he traveled by train to Washington D.C. The threat was a figment of Pinkerton's fertile imagination.

Note: The Invention of the Cotton Gin: "With regard to the utility of this discovery, the court would deem it a waste of time to dwell long upon this topic. Is there a man who hears us who has not experienced its utility? The whole interior of the southern States was languishing, and its inhabitants emigrating for want of some object to engage their attention and employ their industry, when the invention of this machine at once opened views to them which set the whole country in active motion. From childhood to age it has presented to us a lucrative employment. Individuals who were depressed with poverty and sunk in idleness have suddenly risen to wealth and respectability. Our debts have been paid off, our capitals have increased, and our lands trebled themselves in value. We cannot express the weight of the obligation which the country owes to this invention." (Justice Johnson in a circuit court case in Georgia, 1807.)

In the Senate, April 8, 1864

The VICE PRESIDENT. The question is on the passage of the joint resolution, upon which the yeas and nays have been ordered.

The Secretary proceeded to call the roll.

Mr. HENDRICKS, (when Mr. Buckalew's name was called.) I desire to say that Mr. Buckalew is not able to be in his seat to-day, and he expressed a wish that I should say that if he were present he would vote against the proposition.

The call of the roll having concluded, the result was announced—yeas 38, nays 6; as follows:

YEAS—Messrs. Anthony, Drown, Chandler,Clark, Collamer,
Conncss, Cowan, Dixon, Dooliitle,F"csaeiiden,Foot,
Foster, Grimes, Hale, Harding, Harlan, Harris, Henderson,
Howard, Howe, Johnson, Lane of Indiana, Lane of Kansas,
Morgan, Alorrill, Nesmith, Pomeroy, llanisey, Shennaii,
Sprague, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Trnmbull, Van Winkle,
Wade, Wilkinson, Willey, and Wilson—28.

NAYS—Messrs. Davis (KY), Hendricks (DE), McDougall (CA), Powell KY),
Kiddle, and Saulsbury (DE)—6.

The VICE PRESIDENT announced that the joint resolution, having received the concurrence of two thirds of the Senators present, was passed.

Its title was amended to read: A joint resolution submitting to the Legislatures of the several States a proposition to -amend the Constitution of the United States.

Mr. SAULSBURY. I rise simply to say that I now bid farewell to any hope of the reconstruction of the American Union.

Mr. McDOUGALL of California. I desire to ask a question for the purpose of understanding the ruling of the Chair. The ruling, I understand, is that the vote as it stands now has no relation to the States not represented on the floor. I think our vote now being a final vote should have relation to all the States as recognized under the Constitution.

The VICE PRESIDENT. The Chair rules that a majority of all the Senators is a quorum, and two thirds of the number voting, provided a quorum votes, is sufficient to pass any resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution.

Mr. McDOUGALL. I only desire the privilege of saying that such is not the opinion I entertain.

Note: The resolution to submit a proposed amendment to the states for ratification, the subject of which is the abolition of slavery now is taken up by the House.

In the House of Representatives
June 15, 1864

Mr. BALDWIN, of Massachusetts. I ask the gentleman from Ohio to read that part of the Prigg v. Pennsylvania case which relates to the issue of ordering State officials to take measures to return runaway slaves to their owners.

Debate on the Issue of Repealing the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850

Mr. COX of Ohio. I have read it. With the exception of that part of the law of 1793 which confers authority on State magistrates, all of that law is free from doubt. The law of 1850 conforms to that decision, but the anarchists will not agree to abide by either the law or its authoritative interpretation. Some gentlemen, like the gentleman from Massachusetts, have argued that this matter was exclusively in the power of the States. The Supreme Court have said otherwise; and in one case the minority have said that it is concurrent, and that when the power is devolved on the Federal authorities that law which devolves it is of paramount obligation. Will the gentleman stand by that?

Mr. BALDWIN, of Massachusetts. Paramount within the range of the Constitution?

Mr. COX. Yes, sir; under the Constitution, paramount. But I will have done with this trifling. The gentleman does not expect ever to obey the laws of the United States as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States. It is not the doctrine of the party of the gentleman from Massachusetts. The President in his inaugural gave to the Supreme Court the benefit of his opinion of their authority in such matters. The Republican party was built on the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the peculiar idea or conscientious conviction of each individual.

And one of the chief causes of our troubles today is that very idea, nursed in  Massachusetts and other States, that they would interpret all laws to suit themselves. Regardless of Federal laws passed in pursuance of the Constitution, they began that practical nullification which secession so well copied. In Ohio, in Wisconsin, and other States, following the teachings of Massachusetts, the party on the other side of the House, on this very matter of fugitives, has raised the standard of sedition and rebellion against the authority of the United States.

The infraction of this Fugitive Slave Law and the Constitution which required it to be made was the great cause of the trouble between the two sections of the country. One of the reasons for the departure of the southern States was the bad faith of northern States—the fatal infringement of this part of the Constitution. It was because of personal liberty bills, John Brown raids, and general denunciation and intermeddling with slavery; it was because you of Massachusetts would not take the earnest advice of your venerable Chief Justice Shaw and other conservative patriots like him, and erase from your statute-book all your unconstitutional legislation; it was because in Ohio and other States, members of Congress like those opposite from my own State gave aid and comfort to rebellion against the authority of the United States, going so far as to pledge in the name of the State its military power to break down by armed resistance the law made on this subject. It was because of these outrages, these breaches of the fundamental compact, that the southern States shot so madly from their proper spheres and brought on this terrible conflict. These were the grievances of which they complained, not sufficient to justify their revolution, but of sufficient magnitude and importance to demand from us redress.

Note: The list of grievances masks the reality: In the atmosphere of events the list discribes the white people of the Slave States reasonably concluded that the white people of the North, through the Republican Party's taking control of the Federal Government meant to bottle up the Africans in the South, blocking their migration, whether they were slave or free, into the northern states and into the territories of the Union which had been won with equal shares of blood and treasure. If the South was to be stuck with the Africans, the white people certainly would not tolerate their freedom. So why, under such circumstances, remain in the Union? What point? If I can expect no help from you in maintaining the social order, why stay with you?

Gentlemen say that this matter does not belong to the Federal Congress but to the States. I understand that to be the doctrine of my friend from Massachusetts who sits near me. Does he ever expect Massachusetts to pass a law for the rendition of fugitives from labor? No, sir.

Mr.BALDWIN, of Massachusetts.. The question here is not what Massachusetts will do, but what this Congress will do.

Mr. BALDWIN, of Massachusetts. The gentleman cannot find it.

Mr. COX. That is because I do not wear spectacles, I presume. I say that from the beginning of the Government to the present time there has been a uniform opinion upon this subject. Why, sir, that great man who presided over the birth of the Constitution, George Washington, and who urged its adoption upon the States, was the same great man who signed the fugitive slave law of 1793. History says, too, that he was the first man to have a slave reclaimed under that law, a slave that escaped and was hidden somewhere in the city of Boston. It is said around me here that the fugitive slave of George Washington took refuge in the district of the gentleman from Massachusetts, but 1 have no authority upon that point at present. All I can state now is that the fact was stated in a debate here in December, 1859, by General Curtis, of Iowa. It is a curious fact that General Washington, in 1796, had a slave woman who left the service of his wife and went into New England. In a letter to Mr. Whipple he asked for her restoration under the law of 1793. He stated the fact of her escape, and claimed the benefit of the law.

It is a maxim of the common law, as it is of common sense, that every right to be of any avail must have its remedy. The Constitution is no exception to this rule. For every right therein asserted there must be a remedy somewhere. Where is this remedy, then, if not in Federal legislation? No respectable party ever disputed this. The old Whig party never disputed as to this remedy by Federal legislation. It was left for these men of the higher law dispensation, the new lights of this day of war and revolution, men who have been borne here within a few years past upon the waves of fanaticism, to find out all these new interpretations of the Constitution. The great men of 1793 whom 1 have named, and those of 1850, your Clays, your Websters, your Douglases, men of that giant mold and whole-hearted patriotism which took in all the States by a common bond, never questioned the power or the mode and expediency of its exercise by the Federal Government to carry out this clause of the Constitution.

Mr. BLAINE. Yes, but obvious as the answer may be, the gentleman fails to give it. But
1 will put another question. Suppose a runaway slave, one not taken by law from his master, enlists and is found in the ranks of the Union Army and is claimed as a fugitive slave, what does he think about that?

Mr. COX. I will tell the gentleman what I think about it. I opposed putting the black men
in the Army in the first place. I said there would be trouble about the exchange of prisoners. I warned the House against that policy earnestly, in the interest of our white soldiers who have been kept in prison by reason of this military policy as to black soldiers. 1 do not believe that the Army has been strengthened one jot or tittle by these black men. I believe they are a positive weakness to the Union Army and the Union cause. General Grant does not use them. He does not put them in the front. He does not fight them. He knows their worth or worthlessness. He uses them where he can, but takes care where he places them.

Mr. BLAINE. Let me tell the gentleman that there are more than one hundred and fifty wounded negroes in one hospital at Fortress Monroe.

Mr. COX. The gentleman may find one hundred and fifty blacks wounded out of one hundred and fifty thousand soldiers. They were with Butler. The wonder is that any escaped. But General Grant is too skillful and able a general to put himself and black men against General Lee and his white men.

Mr. BLAINE. I do not see the relevance of that to my question.

Mr. COX. 1 will show the gentleman. I would be willing to let the black soldiers in our Army be taken home to their loyal owners, and if the war must go on, leave to the white men the honor and duty of carrying on the war for the constitutional liberties of white men.

Mr. COX. Oh, Mr. Speaker, I think the gentleman from Massachusetts has been most thoroughly answered. The majority want to nullify this constitutional clause as to fugitives by repealing all laws to execute it, and they do not provide any remedy instead of the law, or suggest any other mode for carrying out the constitutional right. They would, in their impulsive movements against slavery, shatter the Constitution. They have undertaken unwisely to keep up this crusade against slavery, with a view, as I charge, to prevent the States South from ever returning to the Union, and to their old relations under the Constitution. They would embitter the loyal men South against us, and thus weaken the bond of Union. They deepen the abyss between us and the insurgent States.

This is strange enough when we consider that those who thus act call themselves the Union party. But there is still a stranger anomaly. I cannot understand why these gentlemen would destroy the only method of carrying out this extradition system of our Constitution, and yet the other day, when a Spanish subject was arrested by our authorities, and taken from our shores which he sought as an asylum, these gentlemen sustained such extraordinary action. Against the Constitution, without law, without treaty, without evidence, without jury trial, without warrant, without information, by executive power, usurping the treaty power, usurping the law-making power, usurping the power of the judiciary, this Administration delivered to Spain a white refugee; and this Congress, with cringing obsequiousness, bowed before executive dictation and by their legislative action said, "All right, Mr. President, you can seize a white man and take him from the country in defiance of the great right of asylum, but when a black man, escaping from one State to another, and whom we are commanded by the Constitution to deliver up, and under the sanction of our oath to make laws for such delivery we break down the constitutional clause and the laws sanctioned by the judiciary in order to create in the North an asylum for the blacks of the South."

When a white man from another nation is torn away, and the practice and usage of all free and civilized nations is outraged, gentlemen on that side stifle proper resolutions of condemnation.

Mr. SLOAN of Wisconsin. I rose for the purpose of asking the gentleman from Ohio whether he believes, as has been announced upon that side of the House, that slavery is dead.

Mr. COX. Then I ask the gentleman does he believe slavery is dead?

Mr. SLOAN. That is the question I put.

Mr. SLOAN. Does the gentleman believe it will be destroyed by this war and rebellion?

Mr. COX. What would be the use of the repeal of the fugitive slave law if slavery were altogether dead? Would not the law be a dead letter?

Mr. SLOAN. That is an evasion of the question.

Mr. COX. Why bring in this bill if slavery is dead?

Mr. SLOAN. In reply, I ask why keep alive this law for the rendition of fugitive slaves if
slavery is already dead?

Mr. COX. Because I am informed by gentlemen here from Kentucky, what I know to be true, that there are loyal men yet slaveholders. I would give them the benefit of the compact which our fathers made with their fathers. Would not you?

Mr. SLOAN. That is an evasion. Does the gentleman believe slavery is dead?

Mr. COX. No, sir. Do you?

Mr. SLOAN. I believe it ought to die; [laughter;] and 1 believe it will die if the loyal people of this country succeed in putting down the rebellion.

Mr. COX. So, on the other hand, I want you to die —politically—but you do not. [Laughter.] God in heaven hasten that day; but you are not entirely dead yet.


I ask the Clerk, as a part of the logic of the history of the gentleman, to read what I send
to him.

The Clerk read, as follows:

"Joint resolution relative to the decision of the United States Supreme Court regarding the supreme court of Wisconsin.

"Resolved, That the Government framed by the Constitution of the United States was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, hut that, as in all other cases of compact union, the parties have no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.

"Resolved. That the principle and construction contended for by the party which now rules in the councils of the nation, that the General Government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism, since the discretion of those who administer the Government, and not the Constitution, would be the measure of their powers; that the several States which formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction, and that a positive defiance of those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done, or attempted to be done, under color of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.
"Approved March 19, 1859.

Mr. COX. These resolutions were not the impulsive throbbings of a popular meeting, sympathizing in hot blood with the panting fugitive, but the cool action of a deliberative assembly of legislative malcontents, determined to provoke, defy, and resist the Federal Government.

Note: A runaway slave had been apprehended in Madison, WI, and taken by a local sheriff to jail and held for rendition. A mob broke into the jail and freed the man, who fled to Canada. The U.S. Federal Court indicted the ringleaders of the mob, trials ensued, and the men were imprisoned. During the whole event, the Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to acknowledge the right of the Federal Courts in the matter and issued orders based on the argument that Wisconsin, being a sovereign state, could ignore federal orders. The United States Supreme Court issued an order to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, ordering to enforce the Federal Court orders at which point, with new members, the court gave in.

The gentleman defended that action. Where does he belong? With what grace can he appear here to justify, as a present necessity, the repeal of that law which he defied when no necessity existed, except the necessity for good faith in its execution? He is not the man to make the question for its present repeal. He must justify his forcible resistance to the law anterior to this civil war. He should be placed on the list of rebels; and only one tenth of his nature be allowed, on repentance, to express itself through him!

I wish to say further, just here, that these resolutions are in part copied from the old Virginia and Kentucky resolutions, but not interpreted as we Democrats interpret them. We interpret those resolutions to mean that the mode and measure of redress which any State might take for the remedy of grievances should be in pursuance of the Constitution by the amendments thereof. This is Mr. Madison's interpretation of the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions. But the Legislature of Wisconsin and the gentlemen in its defense, as well as the Republicans in Ohio who proposed similar resolutions in our State, when they sought to array Ohio against the United States, gave to them an interpretation precisely similar to that given by South Carolina and Alabama when they passed their secession ordinances.

Claiming the sovereign independence of the State, and that the Federal Government by making itself the exclusive judge of the powers delegated to it, and the unquestionable right of the State to judge of the infraction of the Constitution, these Republican disunionists of March, 1859, hurled down the glove of  positive defiance, and prepared, as they did in Ohio, the rightful remedy by forcible resistance. South Carolina bettered their example. With the same plentiful lack of patriotism and the same plentiful supply of sedition, she and her sisters in rebellion imitated this bad example.

Note: Both sides, at different times, invoked their State's sovereignty as justifying resistence to the authority of the Federal Government to rule over them.

Mr. SLOAN, A word?

Mr. COX. No, sir, not now. I want the other resolution read.

Mr. SLOAN. I appeal to the gentleman in fairness to allow me a word in reply.

Mr. COX. I think I have done very fairly by you.

Mr. SLOAN. I think not.

Mr. COX. Before the Clerk reads the other resolution allow me to say that while the revolutionary resolutions approved by Governor Randall were pending in the Wisconsin Legislature, Mr. Horn offered the following as a substitute, which was rejected by ayes 36, noes 49—a strict party vote; the Democrats voting ay, and the Republicans no.

The Clerk read, as follows:

"Whereas it would lead to anarchy and a dissolution of the Union if the interpretation of the Constitution should be usurped by the different State courts, in opposition to the Supreme Court of the United States, where it was placed by. . .

1 read from Judge Brinkerhoff's dissenting opinion, (Ohio State Reports, volume nine, page 228.)

"I know of no way other than through the action of the State governments in which the reserved rights and powers of the States can be preserved and the guarantees of individual liberty be vindicated. The history of this country, brief as it is, already shows that the Federal judiciary is never behind the other departments of that Government, and often foremost, in the assumption of non-granted powers. And let it be finally granted that the Federal Government is in the last resort the authoritative judge of the extent of its own powers, and the reservations and limitations of the Constitution which the framers of that instrument so jealously endeavored to fix and guard will soon be, if they are not already, obliterated."

 It was upon this reasoning, similar to that employed by secessionists at Montgomery and abolitionists at Milwaukee and Cleveland, that this judge sought to array the States against the Federal Government by denying the authority of the latter over the question of rendition. He held that the Federal Government was a usurper of State rights, and "denied that the decisions of a usurping party in favor of the validity of its own assumptions can settle anything." He in fact held, as Attorney General Wolcott argued, (9 Ohio Reports, 114,) that "as to these powers, the States stand to each other and to the Federal Government as absolutely foreign nations." Yet my colleague voted for both Judge Brinkerhoff and Mr. Wolcott!

One more word to this Wisconsin gentleman, [Mr. Sloan,] the gentleman who has more than "ordinary intelligence," the gentleman who, at an early day, helped to bring this war on by just such a course, if not worse, than that pursued by the Republicans of Ohio. I assert that these gentlemen in their resolutions and conduct proposed to array the States in armed hostility against the Federal Union. Oh yes! They talk now against State rights, as if these rights were the teterrima causa belli. If State rights carried into rebellion be the cause, how will these gentlemen escape condemnation? Failing to observe the limitations of the Constitution and the reservations therein to the States, they do not want any State to have its rights now; not now. Not so in 1859. At that time they were for giving the States all sovereign rights, including nullification and resistance by force against the Federal authority.

When the Democrats appealed to the country for the right of the Federal Government to exercise the powers clearly delegated to it under the Constitution with respect to fugitives from labor, these devotees of the new gospel of black liberty cried out in chorus: " No, no! All these laws passed in pursuance of the Constitution come in collision with our peculiar notions of the higher law of our conscience and our God. No matter if the Supreme Court has decided the law to be constitutional; we will array our personal liberty bills against your fugitive slave bills, and our courts against the Federal courts. We will release the men you arrest for resisting the Federal authorities, by State writs of habeas corpus, or 'rescue' them from their incarceration!" They did not then undervalue the habeas corpus. Oh no! It was made for the black man. They were overzealous then for the great writ of freedom, to prevent the proper exercise of the Federal authority.

But now they, I mean you, have ignored that right and nullified that writ. You will not allow it for the white man when imprisoned without warrant and punished without trial. You are against the rendition of the black man in pursuance of the Constitution; and you give up a white man who has sought an asylum on our shores without the form or substance of law or treaty, and in "positive defiance" of the law of nations and the Constitution. Your Executive is a usurper of the powers wisely distributed to the other departments of the Government. Here you sit today striving to strike down the only mode whereby one peculiar clause of the Constitution can be carried out, and propose no mode as a substitute either by State or Federal action. You will not allow an individual to take his slave by the sanction of the Constitution alone; you will pass no law to help him. You will not allow him to go into a free State and have his right there by jury trial,  because you cannot try the claimant's right to his slave by a jury in a free State. You will not allow the law of 1793, which George Washington assisted in making; yet you strike down all the great rights of personal freedom for the white man fixed by the fathers of the country in our fundamental law, because you are bent, because you are demoniacally bent, upon riving this Union in twain, and separating its parts forever.

Your ideas are not those of the higher, but of the lower law. They do not come from the sources of law and light and love above. They sunder all the ties of allegiance and all the sanctions of faith. You are destructionists; you would tear down all that is valuable and sacred in the past and build up nothing in their place. You are revolutionists. You were trying for years by wrongful interference and force to nullify the very law which you now seek to expunge by repeal. You diligently sought to embroil the States in collision with the Federal Government, and have sue. . .

Note: all of this is on the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850

Now, Mr. Speaker, in compliance with my promise, I demand the previous question.
The previous question was seconded, and the main question ordered to be put. The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time; and being engrossed, it was accordingly read the third time.

Mr. MORRIS, of New York, demanded the previous question upon the passage of the bill. The previous question was seconded, and the main question ordered to be put.

Mr. HUBBARD, of Connecticut, demanded the yeas and nays upon the passage of the bill. The yeas and nays were ordered. The question was taken; and it was decided in the affirmative—yeas 82, nays 57, not voting 42.

Query: Why would 42 representatives not vote the matter up or down?

House argument on amendment to constitution

June 15

Does the power to amend the constitution extend to changing the local law of property?

MR. PRUYN of New York. Can three fourths of the States, under this power to amend, overturn the institutions, subvert the authority, and change the condition of the other States. If so, the States might as well in the outset have surrendered all their sovereignty to the General Government, and the amendment declaratory of their reserved rights was meaningless. Is there any person who will venture to claim that any State which adopted the Constitution placed any such construction on this power to amend? I find that the amendment affirming the reserved rights of the States was adopted unanimously by the States which voted on it, and that in Massachusetts it was proposed by John Hancock, president of the State convention, warmly approved by Samuel Adams, and  recommended for adoption to the other States. (See Elliot's Debates.)

Can Maryland and Delaware and New Jersey (for this illustrates the principle) force upon
Pennsylvania an entire change of her domestic policy and institutions? Can Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut compel New York to submit to their domination over her internal affairs, and to lay down rights at their bidding which she never agreed to surrender?

Note: No, but three fourths of the States in the Union, can.

The right to amend is not a right to extend and enlarge the powers granted under the Constitution. It was only intended through its instrumentality to provide for the better and
more convenient exercise of the powers expressly granted, in case defects should be found to exist in the practical working of the system. The amendment as to the manner of electing the President and Vice President illustrates this view.

Note: The logic of the argument appears sound, but there is no good reason why the framers would have intended to permanently cut off an expansion of the scope of powers granted, or to rescind all or part of a power preserved to the States, by means of the amendment process. The process substitutes for the process the framers were forced to employ, because the Articles of Confederation specified a "perpetual" union the law of which could not be changed but by unanimous consent of the States. The only way out was to secede from that union and create a new one.

To construe the Constitution as authorizing three fourths of the States to impose upon the
residue terms and conditions of Union not agreed upon or assented to by them, would be a wide departure from its spirit, and a monstrous usurpation of power; and this it is which we are now called upon to do; to take a further step to alienate the feelings of the South, and to embarrass and impede their return to the Union. No matter what the question may be, whether that of slavery or of any other domestic institution or right reserved to the States; so long as it is reserved. Congress has no right to interfere with it in any way. Let us leave it as the fathers of the Republic left it, to each State to do what it believes to be just and expedient in reference to its own people and to its own institutions.

The argument of due process, requiring compensation for a taking of property.

MR. FERNADO WOOD of New York. Mr. Speaker, this is a proposition to provide by an amendment to the Constitution for the abolition of slavery without compensation in all of the States in the Union. It will be, if adopted, a change in the fundamental law—a material alteration in the Constitution of the United States as formed by the founders of the Government. It is, therefore, a proposition which involves considerations and reflections such as belong to the gravest questions which can come before the American people for determination. It is whether we shall alter the whole structure and theory of government by changing the basis upon which it rests.

Note: Wood is, of course, dead right. What is happening, is that the ratifying states are giving up their sovereign power to make domestic policy for the people of their states, without interference from the Federal Government; this meaning one of the rights the States clearly reserved solely for themselves to exercise. Once given up, it cannot be regained peacefully. As for the dissenters, the one fourth: retaining their sovereignty they can exercise it by seceding from the Union. But, when they do they can expect to be attacked by the Union's military force which will seek to conquer them and drag them back by force of arms.

My first difficulty in assenting to the resolution is that this is no time for any alteration in the organic law. We are now in the midst of a fearful civil war. . . Therefore in my opinion, this is no time to act upon the proposition, no time to change the fundamental law. Nations do not alter their forms of government amid revolutions.

But if a change can be made, is this such a one that should be made?  It is sought through this amendment to abolish at once and summarily the system of domestic servitude existing in one third of the States which came into the Union with the Government and which have remained with it until now. The effects of such a revulsion in such an interest will be of the most wide-spread and radical character. It will, of course, add to the existing sectional hostilities, and if possible make the pending conflict yet more intense and deadly.

Mr. Speaker, I see many objections to this amendment, while I fail to find one reason in its favor. 1 am opposed to it because it aims at the introduction of a new element over which Government shall operate. It proposes to make the social interests subjects for governmental action. This is the introduction of a principle antagonistic to that which underlies all republican systems. Our Union was made for the political government of the parties to it, for certain specified objects of a very general character, all of them political, and none of them relating to or affecting in any manner individual or personal interests in those things which touch the domestic concerns.

Again, sir, the proposed amendment to abolish slavery in the States of the Union is unjust in itself, a breach of good faith, and utterly irreconcilable with expediency. It is unjust because it involves a tyrannical destruction of individual property under the plea of a legitimate exercise of the functions of Government. It is in theory the idea which has been derived from despotism and the notions of feudal powers that Governments are omnipotent, and draw within their sphere all that belongs to the individual, even the liberty of thought, speech, and conscience. This is an impious dogma of the past which should be repudiated, as opposed to the fundamental aims and ends of the Constitution of our Government.

Note: Woods' rethoric is wonderful to read, but what is at issue here is breaking the back of the social order that holds black people in social submission to white people; it is the beginning of breaking through the racism of the nation.

This proposed alteration of the Constitution is therefore beyond the power of the Government, but the necessary consequences of it are revoltingly so. It involves the extermination of the white men of the southern States, and the forfeiture of all the land and other property belonging to them. Negroes and military colonists will take the place of the race thus blotted out of existence. Is this intended as the last scene of the bloody drama of carnage and civil war now being prosecuted? The world looks on with horror, and it will leave to future ages a fearful warning to avoid similar acts of perfidious atrocity.

 Mr. Madison says on this subject: "Each State in ratifying the Constitution is considered
as a sovereign body independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a federal and not a national Constitution."

In the Virginia resolutions, the author of which was Mr. Madison, it is declared, "That in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of powers not granted by the said compact, the States who are parties thereto have the right, and are in duty bound, to intervene, for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them."

The dominant party in this House, acting on the same theory of a bargain broken on the part of the South by secession, and considering themselves thereby absolved from the constitutional obligation to return fugitive slaves, have just passed a bill to repeal the fugitive slave law. It must be taken as conceded that the Constitution is a compact and covenant. Now, the very nature of a compact requires that there shall be contracting parties, and mutual obligations and considerations.

The charge that slavery was the cause of the war is notoriously false. The agitation against slavery and the menaces uttered against that institution had risen to such an alarming height that the States where it existed believed that the only recourse left was to attempt peaceably to withdraw from the Confederation on the ground that the compact was broken. That this would be the inevitable result of the success of a party which denounced slavery as a moral, social, and political evil and declared its intention to use every means to extirpate it, was foretold for years.

Note: And this was done by an ascending political power which, having effected freedom for the African, wanted nothing to do with him, but leave him to fight with the whites of the South for survival.

MR. HIGBY of California. We are told that the institution of slavery in the rebellious States has rights under this Government. The rights of slavery! What right, in God's name, has the institution that has now two or three hundred thousand men arrayed in arms against the Government? Is this bold effrontery to be weighed as argument, and are we yet to hear about the rights of slavery? It has culminated in concentrating its whole power against this Government. What right has it which this Government is bound to respect?

Mr. Speaker, the people of the South have been extremely cunning in the argument of this question whenever it has been raised. Whenever the spirit of free discussion has arisen, and the question of slavery has been debated, they who were in favor of the abolition of slavery were told that they were in favor of giving to the slaves the civil rights that white people had, the political rights, and not only that but the social rights. The latter point was pressed with more vehemence than all the others. And while they have pressed that as an argument why slavery should not be annihilated, the secret with the South in holding fast to slavery has been the political power which it has given them in this Government. There is the charm; there is the fascination. It's power, political power. That is what they have held to.

Note: Hardly can this be reasonably so. Whether the Africans are free or not changes nothing about the dynamics of national political power—The North has 28 million potential voters, the South but nine. With all the agitation described in the list, what reasonable white person in the South would not recognize they are in danger of finding themselves soon competing with Africans for political power within their States?

Mr. Speaker, I commend to the attention of every member of this House for his perusal and study a report that was made in the Thirty-Sixth Congress in the session of 1860-61. It is the report of a select committee of five, appointed on the 9th of January, and to whom was referred the special messages of the President and sundry other papers. On the 28th of February, 1861, that committee submitted a report, and I will read from it an extract to be found upon page 3: " Self-preservation is the first luw of a nation. The power to defend its implements of self-preservation is one of the clearest of all its powers. We cannot conceive of a nation without the power to build and defend forts and all implements of war within its own jurisdiction. And yet secession clniius to have .seized, within sixty days,

MR. KALBFLEISCH of New York. The absurdity of the argument that the proposed amendment to the Constitution is necessary to the prosperity of the country is so manifest that to me it seems almost absurd to attempt seriously to refute it. It is either a crazy delusion or a wicked and willful falsehood on the part of those who promulgate it. No, sir; the prosperity of the country has been marred and its welfare affected, not by the legitimate operation of the Constitution, but by the efforts that have been made to interfere with and overthrow it. The continual intermeddling with and agitation of the subject of slavery by some of the people of the free States who had become frantic upon that question, and the use made of that frenzied state of mind by others of them in promoting the gratification of their inordinate desire for public office and political spoils, may well be regarded as among the primary causes that have hastened, if not produced, the unhappy condition in which we now find the country.

Let us talk no more about amending the Constitution to attempt to free the Africans. Are we not warned by the signs of the times, lest in so doing we may not only lay the foundation for enslaving the white people of this country, but of the whole American continent beyond redemption and for all time to come?

MR. SHANNON of California. It will not, I trust, be necessary in this, the fourth year of our struggle, to press upon this house proof that slavery is alone responsible for this war. No man who has read carefully the history of the past eighty years, whatever may be his political bias, will, 1 think, differ with this Opinion.

Note: Those of Mr. Shannon's view have their head intentionally buried in sand. It is the presence of Africans in the land, not the presence of Africans as slaves in the land, that is alone responsible for the war.

Much was said a few years ago on this floor and elsewhere about higher law, and men were branded with every opprobrious epithet who believed that slavery should be amenable to a law higher than constitutions or human enactments. Sir, the statesman of the North was not responsible for that doctrine; the Commonwealth of Kentucky has adopted it as a part of her organic act. The constitution of that State, adopted in 1850, contains this remarkable sentence: "That the right of property is before and higher than any constitutional sanction; that the right of the owner of a slave to such slave and its increase is the same, and as inviolable, as the right of the owner of any other property whatever."

The Union, as presented to the South by the abolition party, is nothing more nor less than the acceptance of a master who is to prescribe their laws and regulate their internal police. Forcible arguments have now been put into their mouths to resist, step by step, force with force, the encroachments of an Administration which, in its blind zeal to gratify the lunacy of fanatics, throws down all constitutional barriers and leaps headlong into the whirlpool of anarchy and misrule. Time would fail me to specify one half of the radical mistakes Mr. Lincoln has made. I have no heart to go over the list; they are before the American people. The whole bill of indictments is being drawn by the accused himself. The trial of Abraham Lincoln will not prove a farce, and no packed jury, armed by bayonets, will be able to acquit him. I may reason wrong; but I believe the name of the President will go down to posterity along with the deep execrations of all who revere and love the Union as our fathers gave it to us.

MR. COFFROTH of Pennsylvania. Slavery is denounced as the cause of the rebellion; I deny this, though it may be the occasion, as money is the occasion of larceny, robbery, or burglary. If bad men did not covet their neighbors' money and lay felonious hands upon it and carry it away, such a crime as larceny would not be known to the law. If the unjustifiable and unlawful intermeddling with slavery had never occurred there would have been no rebellion.

Mr. KELLOGG, of Michigan. Who does not see that civil war was inevitable under such circumstances, and that slavery was the cause of it?

But we are told that we cannot conquer the South. Sir, if we do not conquer them they will conquer us. One side or the other must be subdued. There is no escaping that result and no peace to be had on any other terms. Those who have watched the progress of the great commander whose army is now thundering at the gates of Richmond believe he will be successful, and that no matter how bravely the rebels may fight, no matter what skill and genius they may display in the handling of their armies, no matter how despair may nerve their arms, their defeat is inevitable, and they will have to submit at last to the armies of the Union.

Note: This is horrible, what he is saying, and it is true.

But, sir, when and in what way have the party in power exhibited their kind regard for the welfare of our soldiers? Is it in the reckless and wanton sacrifice of their lives to the Moloch of abolition.? Is it in their fanatical, radical measures which have obliterated the Union sentiment of the South and united their people against us? Is it by colonizing 'the North with the degraded Africans from the South, so that the soldier on returning home will have to work by his side, and compete with him for place and pay? Is it by placing the corps Afrique upon an equality with them in the ranks, and thereby humiliating their pride and wounding their honor?

MR. HOLMAN of Indiana. But, sir, the amendment goes further. It confers on Congress the power to invade any State to enforce the freedom of the African in war or peace. What is the meaning of all that?  Is freedom the simple exemption from personal servitude? No, sir; in the language of America it means the right to participate in government, the freedom for which our fathers resisted the British empire. Mere exemption from servitude is a miserable idea of freedom. A pariah in the State, a subject, but not a citizen, holding any right at the will of the governing power. What is this but slavery?

Then, sir, this amendment has some significance. Your policy, directed in its main purpose to the enfranchisement of a people who have looked with indifference on your struggle, who have given their strength to your enemies, and then the constitutional power to force them into freedom, to citizenship. If such be your purpose, why deceive a noble and confiding people? Your purpose in this amendment is not to increase the efficiency of your Army or to diminish the power of your enemies. No, sir; you diminish the one and increase the other. You run the hazard of all that to gratify your visionary fanaticism, the elevation of the African to the august rights of citizenship. The Federal power to invade the States for this purpose, as proposed by this amendment, strikes down the cornerstone of the Republic, the local sovereignty of that States, the only resistance this day to a central despotism, the event foreseen and thus guarded against by our fathers.

This act, sir, if it shall have any effect at all, must be fatal; fatal to the very life of the Constitution, fatal to the fundamental principles of the Republic, the right, the irrepressible right of the States to domestic government. Policy and prudence condemn it; and if it were possible, sir, the very ashes of the Revolution would cry out against this subordination of the States in domestic affairs to the Federal power.

Note: New York delegation has 19 Democrats, and 13 Republicans.
          Ohio delegation has 14 Democrats, and 5 Republicans.
          Pennsylvania delegation has 12 Democrats and 12 Republicans.
          Indiana delegation has 7 Democrats and 4 Republicans
          Illinois delegation has 9 Democrats and 6 Republicans
          Michigan delegation has 1 Democrat and 5 Republicans
          Iowa delegation has 6 Republicans.

MR. FARNSWORTH of Illinois. What constitutes property? I know it is said by some gentlemen on the other side that what the statute makes property is property. I deny it. What vested right has any man or State in property in man? We of the North hold property, not by virtue of statute law, not by virtue of enactments. Our property consists in lands, in chattels, in things. Our property was made property by God when He gave man dominion over it. But nowhere did He give dominion to man over another man. Our title extends back to the foundation of the world. That constitutes property. There is where we get our title. There is where we get our "vested rights" to property.

Mr. Speaker, at the time of the organization of this Government there were but about fifty thousand slaves within the limits of the United States. When our fathers rose out of the clouds of the Revolution and formed this Constitution, which I trust we are about to amend, no one of them dreamed that slavery in this land would continue until this time.

Note: In 1780, according to the census, there were 53,000 Africans in the seven free states and 512,000 in the six slave states. The Africans constituted about 5% of the northern population and 40% of the southern population at this time. So you can see it was already too late to abolish slavery without accepting, at the same time, the Africans as citizens. If the percentage in the south had been 5%, it is reasonable to assume the institution of slavery would have vanished. It was about white racism, not an economic system based on slavery, that kept the Africans from being accepted as equals of whites in the American community of 1780.

Our fathers were thus careful in framing the Constitution so that when slavery should be entirely abolished, and when their posterity should come to look in there, they could find nothing to mar its beautiful symmetry. That was the object, that when future generations came to look at that sacred instrument they should not find anything in it to indicate or imply that slavery ever existed in this land.

Note: This is a patently silly statement. Anyone who reads the constitution understands the language of the document means that the Constitution recognizes there is within the community of States a class of persons whose legal status is that of a slave.

I refer to these things for the purpose of showing the doctrine which prevailed in that day, in the early and better days of the Republic. But, sir, alas! it happened we took our departure from these landmarks. Men became greedy and avaricious. The invention of the cotton-gin, the cultivation of cotton made it profitable to raise men and women for the southern market. The price of slaves was enhanced; from being worth $250 they went up to $1,200 and $1,300. Then the greed for power took possession of the slaveholders, and the avarice of these men overleaped itself and they became clamorous for the extension of slavery.

Note: Matthew Hammond, in his book, "The Cotton Industry" (1897), estimated the number of Africans in cotton production, in 1860, at 2.3 million, an increase of 435,000 during the decade. He attributed the large increase to a general demand for cotton and to the extension of its culture to the Lower South and Southwest. African labor was so bound up with cotton that its value came to be measured in terms of its worth in the cotton field. The second largest number of Africans working in agriculture—350,000—became producers of tobacco. Other crops that used slave labor extensively were rice (South Carolina) and sugar (Louisiana).

The total population at different periods, including slaves.
1790.            1800.            1830.            1850.
Virginia        703,308        880,200        1,211,405     1,421,631
New York     340,120        586,756        1,9)8,608      3,097,394

Note: Virginia has more land mass than New York.

In Virginia, taking the entire free white native population, there are 75,868 adults over twenty years of age who cannot read or write, while in New York there are but 23,241 of the same class.

Kentucky had much the start, having, in 1790, 73,000 inhabitants, while Ohio had none. Kentucky was admitted into the Union by act of Congress of February, 1791. Ohio was admitted in 1803, with one Representative. In the year 1800 Kentucky had 221,000 inhabitants, and Ohio hail only 45,365. In 1820 Kentucky had 564.000, while Ohio had 581.000! And in 1850 Kentucky had 982,605, while Ohio had 1,980,329! It will be borne in mind that this enumeration in Kentucky includes over 210,000 slaves, while in Ohio they are all freemen.

I thank God that the Republic has at last recognized the manhood of the African. Gentlemen may call us miscegenists, and they may talk of equal rights. I do not know of any man in the party to which I belong who is fearful of coming into competition with the African. I know there  are many men of the party of my colleague who spoke last evening, [Mr. Ross,] who do feel that the African is their natural competitor and rival, and they do fear, and fear with some reason, too, that the Africans will outstrip them if we give them a fair chance. I have heard gentlemen talk about their fears that Africans might become Representatives upon this floor. Well, I am inclined to think that the country would not suffer by such a change in some instances. Oh! they are afraid of  African equality and miscegenation. You must not unchain the slave and allow him the fruits of his own toil and permit him to fight for the Republic for fear of African equality and miscegenation. Can the head or heart of man conceive of anything more mean and despicable?

Note: Mr. Farnsworth was a Republican and, presumably, the "they" he is referring to were Democrats. But, in the reality of the matter, the "they" were the great mass of white men, north and south, whatever their political affiliation.

Mr. Speaker, I am not afraid of miscegenation. If my colleague over the way is afraid of it, if freedom villagehe requires the restraining influences of a penal statute to keep him and his party from running into miscegenation, I will willingly vote it to them. But we do not want it; we do not practice miscegenation; we do not belong to that school; that is a Democratic institution; that goes hand in hand with slavery. Why, sir, some of the very best blood of the Democracy of Virginia may be found in the contraband village at Arlington today; the blood of the Masons, the Hunters, the Garnetts, the Carters, and the Haxalls; their lineal descendants are among the contrabands. I said I thank God that this nation at last has recognized the manhood of the African. It did that when it put on him the uniform of a soldier of the Republic, and put him into the field to defend the country. His rights and his manhood were recognized, and nobly does he vindicate himself. Sir, I know something of the good faith, of the reliability and nobility of the Africans, of the
faithfulness with which they assist us.

Note: Farnsworth recites the sophism the historians parrot—that the armies of the Union were "defending the country," when, in fact, they were about the business of conquering a distinct people who were attacking no one. Because it was in the national interest of the Union to do so. We must call a thing what it is.

Mr. Speaker, I am in favor of finishing this business entirely now. No child is so simple as not to know that slavery is the cause of this war; that it is the source of all our woe. Then why not finish it? It has spread the land with weeds and mourning. It has hung the very heavens with black. It has disgraced and dishonored us long enough with the other nations of the earth, and God is now chastising us for the sin.

Note: "finishing" slavery means accepting the Africans as citizens with equal political and legal rights; accepting that they can vote, live anywhere they chose, marry whoever they wish to marry, gain any level of education their minds can carry them to, work at any trade or profession, sit wherever they wish in a bus, train, restaurant, theater. Mr. Farnsworth does not really mean what he says. 95% of the Africans in America, in 1864, resided in the South. The State of Illinois, which Farnsworth represented in the House, had laws which blocked the free African from residing in the State. If such a person was found in the State, the sheriff was authorized by law to arrest him and sell him into slavery.

Mr. ROSS of Illinois (Democrat). I desire to ask the gentleman whether he thinks the white man is equal to the African.

Mr. FARNSWORTH. Mr. Speaker, that is a silly question which it is useless to answer. I
think some white men are better than some other white men. I think some white men are better than some Africans, and that some Africans are better than some white men, especially those of the copperhead persuasion.

Mr. Speaker, upon every battle-field where the black troops have had any chance to show their gallantry and bravery, they have vindicated the high estimation which has been placed upon them and the confidence imposed in them in elevating them to the position of soldiers.

black solidiersI know it used to be said when the idea of arming the blacks was first broached that white soldiers would not fight by the side of black men. Go to the Army today and witness the charge of a black brigade, and then come back and tell me whether the white soldier is not willing that the black man shall fight by his side. Witness the shouts and plaudits and cheers which ring out from the throats of the white soldiers as the black men march steadily up to the serried lines of the rebels, and then come back and tell me if the white man is not willing that the black man shall help him to fight the battles of his country.

MR. MALLORY of Kentucky.  How then can you, in the face of this proof, say that slavery cannot exist in States and those States be loyal? Why persist in the declaration that it is impossible to preserve the Union and let slavery exist? In making this declaration you give the lie to your President and his prime minister. Seward, in his letters to Dayton and Adams, says, "Slavery will remain whether the rebellion succeeds or fails." Ah, Mr. Speaker, slavery is not properly a ground or a cause for a dissolution of this Union, for civil war, or for disturbance. But I am very much afraid that the party upon the other side of the House, aided by the present Administration of the General Government, may make slavery the cause for the disruption of this Union. You have changed your whole policy in regard to the war. You have converted it from a war to preserve the Union, as you acknowledge and boldly declare, into a war for the abolition of slavery, because you say that is the only way to preserve the Union.

Note: There is an objective truth hiding behind Mallory's words. The Radicals were the first to grasp the fact that the Union could not survive among the nations of the world, if its people were divided between white men who were free and black men who were not. They were the first white Americans to push racism from their minds. Slavery still exists in the world, but the countries where it is allowed are countries living in the past, as the America of 1860 was living in the past.

Mr. MALLORY. Mr. Speaker, from that time to this—I charge here—the President of the United States, and his aiders and abettors on that side of the House have persistently, constantly, and with diabolical ingenuity, struggled by their legislation and policy to crush out the Union sentiment existing in the southern States. I go further, and say that I believe that by that harsh policy they have accomplished their purpose. I go still further, and say that I believe, with many a man on that side of the House, this was designed and looked for and intended. They wished to crush out Union sentiment in the South, and to have nobody there their friend. They wished to pursue that whole country with a sword in one hand and a fire-brand in the other, burning and destroying as they went, in order to do—what? To wipe out the white people of the country and supplant them by black free men, whom they are going to make American citizens, to be controlled and governed by the northern emigrants whom they may think proper to send there from New England.

Note: There is truth, too, to these words of Mallory's: for while the Radicals were driven by an moral motive, they were also, like the Puritans they sprang from, harshly violent in pushing their agenda. Turning the table on the whites of the South—overnight, stripping the upper class of its wealth, handing it over to the blacks and installing the black, by force of arms, in the legislatures—made the long climb out of racism that much more difficult to acheive.

They have the right to ask you what they are to expect if they comply with your demand. And what is the reply? "You are to expect that you shall be stripped of every particle of your property. You have to expect that the right of self-government will be taken from you. You have to expect that the President and Congress will frame and impose on you such form of State government as they may think proper; that the President shall indicate not only the men who shall vote in the elections for members of Congress and of the State Legislatures, but shall also indicate the men who shall be elected to those offices, and the peculiar qualifications of electors and office-holders in those States. You have to expect nothing better than that. You are to expect, if you come back, to come back the abject and submissive slaves of the conquering power."

The President strikes down the writ of habeas corpus, the safeguard of personal liberty, and says that is indispensable and is right. And you support him in it. He abolishes trial by jury, and says that it is indispensable to do it in order to get at traitors; and you say so, too, and that he has a right to do it, because he deemed it indispensable. He has arrested without warrant and condemned without due process of law hundreds of our citizens, and confined them in prisons and forts, who have been ascertained to be guiltless of any crime, and you approve it. He has subjected hundreds of free citizens not in military service to be tried by military tribunals, and punished by martial law, and you indorse it. He struck down slavery, as he himself acknowledges, in defiance of the rights of the States to control their own domestic institutions. He says it was in violation of the Constitution, and that he knew it when he did it. You say it was indispensable as a war measure, and, constitutional or unconstitutional, it is right. Very well; why, then, do you want to tamper with the Constitution? Why do you want to change the Constitution?

Now, let me ask you a practical question. What do you intend to do with the slaves you propose to set free? What are you going to do with the elephant when you get him? [Laughter.] Has anybody attempted to furnish a solution of this question? Yes, sir, a solution has been attempted; 1 will examine it. They propose to put those of them capable of rendering military service into the Army to fight the battles of the country. They have been placed in the Army to the number of one hundred and thirty or one hundred and fifty thousand. Where, in your armies, have you placed these men? Have you placed them as a shield between the enemy and your white troops? A gentleman in this House in the last Congress declared he was willing a black soldier should stand as a shield between his son and the bullets of the enemy.

No, sir; these black men have not been placed in that position; they have been placed behind fortifications and out of the reach of the guns of the enemy. You make them equal to white soldiers in pay, clothing, rations, and position; you make them superior in position to white soldiers by saving them from danger and wounds and death. You degrade the white private soldier to a level with or below the negro; but the officers you make a privileged class. You make the black private soldiers equal to the white, but you will not allow your white officers to be degraded by allowing the negro to become his equal in position as an officer in the Army of the . . .

What do you propose to do with those you cannot use in the Army—the women and children and worn-out men? Three years ago I asked that question in this House, and the answer by the leading abolitionists then was, "We will colonize them." I stated then that this would not be done, that the country would never consent to add to its debt twelve or fifteen hundred million dollars for such a purpose. I said truly. You have abandoned the idea of colonization. Numbers of the free Slates by law prohibit their immigration within their limits. You are afraid as yet to resist the exercise of this right in despite of that prohibition, although you dispute it. You cannot send them into those States; but you propose to leave them where they are freed, and protect them in the right to remain there. You do not intend, however, to leave them to the tender mercies of those States.  You propose by a most flagrant violation of their rights to hold the control of this large class in these various States in your own hands.

And are they freed? No, sir, no, sir. You still govern and control them. They will not govern themselves. You regulate their conduct, you prescribe their work, you determine what to give them, you control their actions. They are still slaves, by whatever name you may call them. You have kidnapped them from their masters in Virginia and made them your slaves.

Note: His words are true, but still, the Africans in the "Freedom Villages" were free to go; many of them left the Arlington village and went into Washington and became, maids and butlers, coachmen and washerwomen. Did they live better or worse than the Irish? Who can say? Everyone must serve somebody.

How have you freed them in Louisiana? Banks, with the consent of the President, has established a system of slavery there, better for the master  and worse for the slave, than any that I have any experience of. By it the master is relieved of the expense of rearing the slave until he is capable of performing profitable labor, and released from all obligation to maintain him after he has become unfitted by age or disease to render remunerating service. Nor is there the least freedom conceded to the slave by this system, unless it be the liberty to wander off, when overtaken by death, and die like a dog on the first dung heap untended and uncared for by a kind and Christian master. He has not the liberty to work where he pleases; he is confined to the limits of a particular plantation. He has not the right to work when he pleases; his hours of labor are prescribed. He has not the right to demand such wages as he may think his services worth; his Wages are fixed for him. He has not the privilege of expending his earnings as he pleases; this is done for him by regulation. And I make the declaration that the compensation he is forced to labor for is not near equivalent to what a slave in Louisiana received under the slave system, which these wise humanitarians. Banks and the President, wish to supplant by their system of free labor.

God save the mark. Mr. Speaker, by such a change as this you do not abolish slavery, but you rob it of all its humanizing and redeeming characteristics. By destroying all interest of the master in the preservation of the health of the slave, you diminish his care and kindness and indulgence to him. The watchful care of the intelligent and interested master over the young is lost, and they are left to grow up uncared for except by the negro father and mother, whose ignorance and indifference to the welfare of their offspring are matters of common notoriety.

MR. KELLY of Pennsylvania. What, asks the gentleman,. are you going to do with the freed Africans?' 1 will tell that gentleman a secret confidentially. Above us all there is a god—slave-owners have not generally known the fact—who will take care of His children. I will trust the freed Africans to the care of God, under our beneficent republican institutions. We are told that the cries of the laborer whose hire has been kept back by fraud enter into the cars of the Lord; and if the State of Kentucky is today desolated by contending armies, it is because the Lord is avenging the wrongs of His poor children, made dumb and voiceless by the laws of that State. It is the work of a just and avenging God punishing even to the third and fourth generation, the wrongs done by your fathers and which have not been repented. And when the iron so enters the soul of the Slave States, as to make them feel that there is a God who controls the destinies of men and of nations, then they will trust him with the care of his child in the South's midst. Then there will be peace again and God will bless our nation.

But the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. Mallory] says the season is inopportune. Sir, justice is ever in season, and it is never inopportune to do right. But he also says that the rebellious States are in the Union, and yet we do not propose to allow them to vote on this measure. The people of those States are probably not aware of the fact that they are in the Union. They believe themselves to be out of the Union, and if they only knew as well as the gentleman from Kentucky does that they have a right to be represented here as well as at Richmond, I doubt not they would have their Representatives here to oppose our action on this question. If in the Union, why are their Representatives not here? Who expelled them from this House or the Senate Chamber? If the Constitution be amended by default of their votes there will be no ground for a motion to open or set aside the judgment, as, to say the least, the default is the result of their voluntary absence.

Note: The gentleman states the case exactly.

Sir, I arraign slavery as the efficient cause of every national evil we have endured. It put the vice with which we are now contending into the Constitution, it commenced a war upon the dignity of labor and the freedom of conscience and thought the very day our Government was organized; it inspired and gives physical power to the rebellion we are crushing at such fearful cost of vigorous life; it is, as it has been, the fruitful source of all our national woes.

The gentleman from Kentucky also said that we do not use our colored soldiers to fight, but pet and save them at the expense of our white soldiers. Did we save them at Fort Pillow? And let me pause to ask who crucified the men at Fort Pillow, and why was it done? But that your infernal institutions had taught the people of the South to look upon men, women, and children as cattle, soulless beings, things to be scourged as you would scourge an unruly and dangerous animal, that horrible chapter would never have  disgraced American history. It is not for you, the champions of slavery, to complain that the African is not exposed sufficiently to the dangers of war, for your myrmidons have fled before them in many battles, and when they have overmastered them have tortured, burned, and crucified them under the teachings of that system of which we propose constitutionally to purge the Constitution of our country.

MR. EDGERTON of Indiana. The effect of the amendment, therefore, will be to increase
southern representation, based upon the negro population, to the extent of two fifths at
least of that population; and no man who knows the motives and policy of the party in power questions but that their object m part, by the proposed amendment, is to make the African population not merely a passive but an active basis of representation jn the Federal Government. First, the African a citizen of the United States; secondly, the African a free citizen of the United States, protected everywhere, in defiance of existing State constitutions and laws, as such citizen; and thirdly, the African a voting citizen of the United States, are all propositions logically involved in the proposed amendment.

Note: This is what the historians have shrank from; admitting that slavery survived as long as it did, because the white men of the Union could not bring themselves to think of the African as their equal, so slavery was the social means by which the white people kept the black people down. It was the threat to the social order the Radicals posed, in control of the Federal Goverment, that induced the white people of the South to take their States out of the Union.

The same revolutionary power which enfranchises Africans by presidential edicts of emancipation, or by constitutional amendments, carried, as this would be, in the southern States, if it receives the two thirds vote of this Congress, so as to be submitted to the State Legislatures, by fraudulent elections and by duress of arms, would soon admit Africans to the elective franchise in all the States, and African representatives in Congress would speak the voice of southern if not of the northern States. This is the designed effect of the proposed amendment in its change of the constitutional basis of representation.

The effect of this amendment would be to turn loose at once, without preparation or education for freedom, without property or the means whereby to live, and without the guidance, restraint, and protection of the superior intelligence and forethought of their masters or owners, the whole slave population of the southern States, numbering from three and a half to four million persons. A change so sudden and so radical in the industrial and social system of States, and especially in the condition of such a class of persons as the African population of the southern States, is without precedent or justification in history; and we have no warrant for believing that it would be a benign and healthful change. On the contrary, we have the testimony of one who, although an instrument, and an active instrument, in bringing about this great social revolution , has declared—but in this as in many other instances proved false to his own opinions—that " gradual, not sudden emancipation is better for all."

Note: Whatever truth there is to the gentleman's words, the fact is that the war, by its nature, itself, destroyed any chance slavery would survive the reconstitution of the Union.

All who know anything of the African character know this to be true. Sudden freedom to the African, without the capacity to appreciate and improve it, has proved not a blessing but a curse. On this point let tens of thousands of homeless, diseased, demoralized, starving, naked, helpless "contrabands" bear testimony.

This proposed amendment is designed to be the coadjutor and crowning effort of that stupendous system of confiscation or legalized plunder by which the party in power propose to restore the Union. They have already gone as far as they could do by acts of legislation and executive edicts of emancipation to seize and appropriate the property and free the slaves of those in arms against the Federal Government and to partition the southern lands among Africans, and now the final act of confiscation in the shape of this amendment is proposed to operate upon friend and foe. Union man and rebel alike, in the appropriation to public use without compensation of the entire slave property of the United States.

Note: Though Marx must have been clapping his hands, this effort by the Radicals died on the vine, as against the Law of Nations and of the Constitution.

We have hitherto considered it a fundamental principle of civil polity, as it is a provision of our Constitution, that private properly cannot be taken for public use without just compensation. This proposed amendment ignores and tramples upon that principle. If the public good really demands that the slave-owners of the South should surrender their slave property, is there any principle of constitutional freedom or of public justice that justifies the demand for that surrender without making adequate compensation? None, sir; and it is the plunder of despotism, not justice nor constitutional liberty, to take the property without making the compensation.

There was a time, sir, when the President of the United States, now in office, and many of his friends in the Thirty-Seventh Congress, thought that slaves were property, and that if they were emancipated for the public good the United States should cooperate and help to pay for them. I refer for evidence on this point to the various messages and resolutions comprising his compensated emancipation scheme sent to the Thirty-Seventh Congress by President Lincoln, and to the action of that Congress on the subject. In this, as in most other cases, the President and his party have been false to their professions. What they once thought should not be taken without being paid for he, by his emancipation proclamation, and they by their proposed amendment to the Constitution—which he no doubt will approve if it passes this Congress—propose to take by the strong hand of a despotic majority without payment or compensation.

MR. ARNOLD of Illinois. The Thirty-Seventh Congress will live in history as the Congress which prohibited slavery in all the Territories of the Union, and abolished it at the national capital. The President of the United States will be remembered as the author of the proclamation of emancipation, as the liberator of a race, the apostle of freedom, the great emancipator of his country. The Thirty-Eighth Congress, if we pass this joint resolution, will live in history as that which consummated the great work of freeing a continent from the curse of human bondage.

Note: But not the cause of it: National white racism.

Mr. INGERSOLL of Illinois. I believe slavery is the mother of this rebellion, that this rebellion can be attributed to no other cause but slavery; from that it derived its life and gathers its strength today.

Had there been no slavery in this country there never would have been an abolitionist
or an agitator; the inhuman and barbarous system of slavery created the abolitionist and the agitator. In this instance the evil produced the good—the wrong the right; and the good and the right must prevail. Slavery has piled up the mountain which will fall upon it and crush it to dust. Slavery alone is the cause of the war, and he who attributes this war to any other cause than slavery is wide of the mark.

I am in favor of the adoption of this amendment because it will secure to the oppressed
slave his natural and God-given rights. I believe that the black man has certain inalienable rights, which are as sacred in the sight of Heaven as those of any other race. I believe he has a right to live, and live in a state of freedom. He has a right to breathe the free air and enjoy God's free sunshine. He has a right to till the soil, to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, and enjoy the rewards of his own labor. He has a right to the endearments and enjoyment of family ties; and no white man has any right to rob him of or infringe upon any of these blessings.

Mr. RANDALL, of Pennsylvania. The joint resolutions under consideration, Mr. Speaker, propose to amend the Constitution of the United States so as to prevent the existence of slavery in any of the States. Sir, I cannot favor this amendment with my vote, for many reasons: It tends to that which at this time our people have most to fear, a centralization of power and a consolidated Government. It strikes at the root of all State institutions, overturns and sets at naught all local laws, and while it throws away every hope of reconciliation, either now or in the future, it at the same moment looks to the enslavement of the white citizens of the country.

Sir, I maintain that the only mode in which the Union can be restored and put on the march of a newer and more glorious progress, is by having due regard to the mutual advantages and interests of the States. This cannot be done by laying waste their lands, or by carrying off their property, or by endeavoring to make the African that which God did not intend—the physical, mental, and social equal of the white man.

Mr. PENDLETON of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I approach the discussion of this question with great diffidence. I believe in the constant progress of political science, and I am willing always to yield to its just demands. I believe in the constant amelioration of the condition of the human race, and I am anxious in every position in social or political, in private or public life, to aid in every movement toward that result. I believe in the constant development of the human intellect; and I think it our bounden duty to apply its maturing powers to the ever-varying condition of affairs which the ages in their course evolve.

But a change has come over us. New principles have been asserted. A new party has come into power, and that party, in the first term of its administration, in the midst of the civil war which was coincident with its attainment of power, when a million and a half of men with serried ranks and glittering bayonets invoke the arbitrament of the sword, calls upon us to change in a vital point this Constitution.

I object to this action for many reasons. I object to it because the time is not auspicious. I object to the passage of this resolution for this simple reason, that it is impossible that the amendment proposed should be ratified without a fraudulent use—I select the term advisedly—without a fraudulent use of the power to admit new States or a fraudulent use of the military power of the Federal Government in the seceded Stales.

Note: The gentleman speaks truthfully. The Radicals used the military power to control southern state governments, coercing them to ratify the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. But that is what revolutionaries tend to do.

There are thirty-five States. Twenty-seven are necessary to ratify this amendment. There are nineteen free States. Suppose you get them all, where do you get the others? Count also Maryland, Missouri, West Virginia, even Delaware, if you please, and you have but twenty-three.

Note: There was a legitimate means to accomplish ratification of the 13th amendment when the issue is considered in the abstract. There were not thirty-five states in the Union as it existed in 1864.There were twenty-six. The other eleven states were legally out of the Union, which is why the Union was waging a war of conquest against them. Once twenty-one of the twenty-six ratified the amendment it became by operation of the supreme law a part of the Constitution. Thereafter, at war's end, with the seceded states now pinned to the Union with the bayonet, the cost to them of readmission into the Union was their formal concurrence in the ratification. Mississippi did not ratify the 13th amendment until 2013.

Where are the other four? Gentlemen tell me they have provided for the admission of Colorado, Montana, and Nevada. This addition to the number of States increases to the same extent the number necessary for the ratification. If you get them all, four are still wanting.

If you intend to make up this number by the addition of new States you will have to add sixteen; three fourths of which, twelve, will be the proper proportion for the number added, and the remaining four to make up the deficiency among the old States. Are gentlemen prepared to carve sixteen new States out of this territory in the West for this purpose?

Will gentlemen call on the southern States to furnish the requisite number? Does any man
suppose that Kentucky, if left to her unbiased choice, will ratify this amendment?

Note: Kentucky did not ratify the 13th amendment until 1976.

Will you call on Tennessee? Tennessee is today in possession of a military governor, and not represented in either House of Congress.

Arkansas? Arkansas begs today that you will recognize her as a State and admit her Senator. And he cannot be admitted.

Louisiana? General Banks is again its military governor. He is already ashamed of the farce which was enacted there a short time since, and is about to get rid of the pretense of a government which a little while ago he set up in the person of our quondam colleague,
Michael Hahn.

Note: In August 1863, President Lincoln ordered Banks to oversee the creation of a new state constitution, and in December granted him wide-ranging authority to create a new civilian government. However, because voter enrollment was low, Banks cancelled planned Congressional elections, and worked with civilian authorities to increase enrollment rates. After a February 1864 election organized by Banks, a Unionist government was elected in Louisiana. This government ratified the 13th amendment.

South Carolina? Is she to be called upon? Why, sir, the possession of Hilton Head did not give hold upon that State enough to secure the admission of delegates to the Baltimore convention.

If these States are to vote in their present condition, it would be a broad farce if it were not a wicked fraud. If they are to be reorganized under the proclamation of the President, or under an act of Congress, upon the basis of one tenth of the population, it must be effected through the exercise of military power and by the votes of the dependents and hangers-on and contractors and cormorants who follow an army, and if you should  attempt to amend the Constitution by such means, what binding obligation would it have?  What binding obligation ought it to have? Do you suppose the States now in secession, with arms in their hands, and where you have hardly a foothold, would ever submit to it? Do you really propose to establish over them by force of arms a Constitution which you have just changed by force of arms?

I object to the passage of this resolution because in my judgment this amendment, or this change—I will not call it an amendment—of the Constitution is not within the power conferred by the Constitution. is it competent under the Constitution for three fourths of the States to change the Government into a hereditary monarchy; to abolish the Senate and House of Representatives, and convert this Government into an autocracy? It  certainly is not. That would be revolution, not amendment.

Mr. THAYER of Pennsylvania. I say distinctly that it is in the power of the people of this country to erect any Government that the people may choose. I will say, further, that the weakness of an argument is often shown by putting an extreme case like that which the gentleman puts, and which is scarcely within the range of human probability.

Mr. PENDLETON, it is not a question of human probability. The question is whether the
power exists under the Constitution to do it.

Mr. THAYER. In answer to that I will say that the powers of the people under the Constitution are unlimited except in the case of the particulars in which by the Constitution they are limited.

Mr. PENDLETON. That is a different proposition. The gentleman thinks that there is power under the pretense of amending the Constitution to revolutionize it. He thinks it competent to change this Government into a monarchy or into an oligarchy; to change it not by the mere force of arms under the rights of revolution, but under this written Constitution. He believes that one fourth of the States are bound hand and foot, and must submit to anything that the other three fourths attempt to impose upon them.

Mr. THAYER. I think it competent for a majority of the people of this country to determine what shall be the character of the institutions of the country.

Mr. PENDLETON. Do you think it competent for a majority to do it under the provisions
of the Constitution?

Mr. THAYER. I do.

Mr. PENDLETON. Then why is it that three fourths of the States are required to ratify the amendment of the Constitution? Why not simply require a majority of all the people of the States?

Mr. THAYER. Because three fourths of the States is the constitutional majority which it requires to accomplish it. When I speak of a majority I mean, of course, a constitutional majority.

Mr. PENDLETON. Exactly. That is the Constitution. And therefore it is not competent
for a majority of the people, under the Constitution, to change this Government as they see fit.

Mr. THAYER. When I spoke of a majority, 1 meant a constitutional majority.

Mr. WADSWORTH of Kentucky. I wish to know whether, under the doctrine of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. Thayer,] three fourths of the States could compel all the States to have slavery.

 Mr. PENDLETON. I yield for a moment that the gentleman from Pennsylvania may say
"yes" or " no" to that proposition.

Mr. THAYER. I believe that under the Constitution three fourths of the States might legalize it in all the States; and allow me to add that in saying that I stand by that Constitution which gentlemen on that side of the House make a great show of upholding until there is a practical question presented under it for our action, when they oppose its plain provisions.

Mr. PENDLETON. I agree to no such doctrine. I repudiate it entirely. The domestic internal affairs of a State, having no connection with the Federal Government, or with foreign nations, or with the other States, are reserved to the absolute, exclusive sovereign power of the States respectively, and to the people thereof. The other States are not affected by them, and have no interest in them.

Note: The gentleman correctly states the political agreement the original States made between themselves when, in 1789, they ratified the Constitution.

The Federal Government has no cognizance of them. The power of amendment which is confided to three fourths of the States does not reach them, nor the power to regulate them, but is limited to the subjects and powers delegated to the United States. It is not competent, in my judgment, for three fourths of the States to abolish that provision of the Constitution by which no new State shall be formed within the jurisdiction of any other State, nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, without the consent of the Legislatures, and give to the Congress the power to subdivide or unite the States; nor is it competent for three fourths of the States to amend the Constitution so as to give to the Federal Government the power to appoint the Governors of the States, nor to prescribe the qualifications of electors in the State, nor the number or qualifications of the members of its Legislature, nor to amend the constitution of the State. Three fourths of the States might change the war-making power, or the power to regulate commerce, or the power to make treaties. Three fourths of the States may abolish the three-fifths rule of representation, or the provision for the rendition of fugitive slaves, or the rule for imposing direct taxes. All these amendments may be made, because they relate to inter-State affairs. They relate to the connections of the States as between themselves, or as between the States and foreign nations. But neither three fourths of the States, nor all the States save one, can abolish slavery in that dissenting State, because it lies within the domain reserved entirely to each State for itself, and upon it the other States cannot enter.

Note: The gentleman suggests, as a matter of political science and logic, that there must be a limit to the scope of the power of amendment envisioned by the framers. That the amendment process was intended by them to be limited to amending how the Federal Government works, and to the subject of how the internal affairs of the States work. Abstractions are always ignored in times of great exigencies.

But if this amendment were within the constitutional power of amendment; if this were a proper time to consider it; if three fourths of the States were willing to ratify it; and if it did not require the fraudulent use of power either in this House or in the executive department to secure its adoption, I would still resist the passage of this resolution.

It is another step toward consolidation, and consolidation is despotism; confederation is liberty. I believe, sir, in the doctrine of State rights. I know it is fashionable today to denounce it. I know that regard for it has been diminished in the public mind; and I know also that in the same degree has love of union waned, and want of harmony among the States increased.

The Political Theory of States Rights

The gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Garfield] has spoken of "the pestilent doctrine of State rights;" and the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Baldwin] has said "State sovereignty never was anything more than a dream of theorists." 1 confront them with Hamilton: "The State governments, by their original constitutions, are invested with complete sovereignty. . . An entire consolidation of the States into one complete national sovereignty would imply an entire subordination of the parts; and whatever powers might remain in them would be altogether dependent on the general will. But as the plan of the Convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not by that act exclusively delegated to the United States. The rule that all the authorities of which the States are not explicitly divested in favor of the Union remain with them in full vigor, is not only a theoretical consequence of that division, (i.e., of sovereign power,) but is clearly admitted by the whole tenor of the instrument which contains the articles of the proposed Constitution."—Federalist.  Nos. 31, 32.)

I confront them with Madison: "In this relation, then, the proposed Government cannot be considered a national one, since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated articles only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects." Federalist, No. 39.

The Constitution was adopted by the States, not by the people as a nation, nor yet by the people of the States, but by the States themselves: "Each State in ratifying the Constitution is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act." Madison Papers, No. 39.

The States ratified the Constitution, and the citizens of each State owed obedience to it by reason of the ratification by that State. Their allegiance to it was through their State, given by its command, transferred by its act. The State of Massachusetts adopted the Federal Constitution; by that act that State became a member of the Federal Union; and in this wise, and this alone, the citizens of Massachusetts were compelled, were entitled, to recognize its authority.

Rhode Island did not ratify the Constitution till May, 1790, one year after the inauguration of the new Government. What was her condition in the interval? The old Confederation had been entirely dissolved. She had not become a member of the new one. Was she not then an independent, sovereign State? Was she not a "State out of the Union?"

We must retrace our steps; we must return to State rights. They are the conservators of liberty; they are the conservators of Union; and the first step of that retain should be now and here, in our firm resolve to remit to the States, where the Constitution left it, the whole subject of domestic slavery.

[Here the hammer fell.]
Mr. STILES. 1 move that the gentleman have leave to proceed for ten minutes.

Mr. PRICE. I object.

Mr. SPALDING. I desire permission of the House to ask the gentleman from Ohio a question.

Mr. PENDLETON. I shall be very happy to answer any question my colleague will ask, if the House will permit it.

Several Members objected.

Mr. WILSON. I desire to submit this suggestion to the House.

Mr. KALBFLEISCH. I object.

Mr. WILSON. Well, sir, I move that the time fixed for taking a recess be extended till this resolution has been disposed of.

The SPEAKER. That motion is in order.

The motion was agreed to.

The question being on the amendment submitted by Mr. Wheeler,

Mr. GANSON called for the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were not ordered.

The amendment was disagreed to.

The substitute proposed by Mr. Pendleton was disagreed to.

The Joint Resolution to Submit the 13th Amendment to the States
for ratification is voted on.

The joint resolution was then ordered to a third reading, and was accordingly read the third time.

Mr HOLMAN demanded the yeas and nays upon the passage of the joint resolution.

The yeas and nays were ordered.
The question was taken; and it was decided in the negative—yeas 93, nays 65, not voting 23.

Note: Because of New England, the Republicans in the House had more votes than did the Democrats but less than a two-thirds majority.

It is April 1864: On April 9th General Grant issued the order that put the Army of the Potomac in motion for the Wilderness and its confrontation with Lee. The nay voters were not certain what the outcome of the confrontation would prove to be. Only after Richmond fell, did they change their votes, when the resolution was reconsidered.

Those that did not vote were as follows:
William G. Brown,
Clay, Henry
Winter Davis,
Thomas T. Davis,
Benjamin G. Harris,
Charles M. Harris,
Nelson, Perry,
William H. Randall,
Edward H. Rollins, S
tebbins, Voorhees,
William B. Washburn,
Benjamin Wood,

So the joint resolution was not passed, two thirds not having voted in favor thereof.

Mr. ASHLEY of Ohio changed his vote from the affirmative to the negative, for the purpose of submitting at the proper time the motion to reconsider.

Mr. HOLMAN. I rise to a question of order. I desire to know whether less than a majority is competent to lay a motion to reconsider the vote just taken on the table.

The SPEAKER. The only provision of the Constitution requiring a two thirds vote is upon the passage of the resolution. (i.e. a motion to reconsider requires a simple majority to pass, a majority that the Republicans do not enjoy.)

Mr. HOLMAN. Then I will not submit a motion to reconsider.

Note: After Grant's army invested Petersburg and Lincoln was reelected, Lincoln finally adopted the position of the radicals of his party and embraced the abolition of slavery by using the amendment process set forth in the Constition.

Article V

The Congress, whenever wo thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution. . . which. . . shall be valid. . . as part of this constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several States. . . provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year 1808 shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses of in the Ninth section of the first Article, and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

The Republican Party's 1864 Platform

Resolved, That as slavery was the cause, and now constitutes the strength of this Rebellion, and as it must be, always and everywhere, hostile to the principles of Republican Government, justice and the National safety demand its utter and complete extirpation from the soil of the Republic; and that, while we uphold and maintain the acts and proclamations by which the Government, in its own defense, has aimed a deathblow at this gigantic evil, we are in favor, furthermore, of such an amendment to the Constitution, to be made by the people in conformity with its provisions, as shall terminate and forever prohibit the existence of Slavery within the limits of the jurisdiction of the United States.

President Lincoln Annual Message to Congress, December 1864

At the last session of Congress a proposed amendment of the Constitution abolishing slavery throughout the United States passed the Senate, but failed for lack of the requisite two-thirds vote in the House of Representatives. Although the present is the same Congress and nearly the same members, and without questioning the wisdom or patriotism of those who stood in opposition, I venture to recommend the reconsideration and passage of the measure at the present session.

Of course the abstract question is not changed; but in the intervening election shows almost certainly that the next Congress will pass the measure if this does not. Hence there is only a question of time as to when the proposed amendment will go to the States for their action. And as it is to so go at all events, may we not agree that the sooner the better?

It is not claimed that the election has imposed a duty on members to change their views or their votes any further than, as an additional element to be considered, their judgment may be affected by it. It is the voice of the people now for the first time heard upon the question. In a great national crisis like ours unanimity of action among those seeking a common end is very desirable—almost indispensable. And yet no approach to such unanimity is attainable unless some deference shall be paid to the will of the majority simply because it is the will of the majority. In this case the common end is the maintenance of the Union, and among the means to secure that end such will, through the election, is most dearly declared in favor of such constitutional amendment.

38th Congress, Second Session

In The House,
December 15, 1864

Amendment to the Constitution

Mr. Ashley of Ohio. I desire to give notice to the House that on Friday, the 6th of January, I propose to call up the motion to reconsider the vote by which the resolution for amending the Constitution of the United States was rejected, and at that lime lo put the bill upon its passage.

January 6, 1865

Mr. ASHLEY. Mr. Speaker, "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." Thus simply and truthfully has spoken our worthy Chief Magistrate. The proposition before us is, whether this universally acknowledged wrong shall be continued or abolished. Shall it receive the sanction of the American Congress by the rejection of this proposition, or shall it be condemned as an intolerable wrong by its adoption?

Instead of disappearing as they confidently expected, circumstances unforeseen by them so strengthened slavery that in less than eighty years it became the dominant interest in the nation, and in 1860 openly demanded the entire control of the national Government. Because this demand was refused by the free laboring men of the North the slave masters of the South organized this the most wicked of all rebellions, and for nearly four long years have waged this terrible war with the avowed purpose of destroying the best form of government ever vouchsafed to man, in order to establish in its stead a Government whose corner-stone should be human slavery. This is the logic of the contest.

Note: Mr. Ashley's words are rhetorical silliness. The Slave States did not "demand the entire control of the national government." Because this demand was refused the slave masters of the South did not organize a rebellion, nor did they wage war "with the avowed purpose of destroying" the Union government. They did nothing more nor less than take their States out of the Union and form for themselves a new one, which they were as much entitled to do, as were the leaders of the colonies in abandoning their allegiance to the King George and his government, in 1776.

I do not believe any constitution can legalize the enslavement of men. I do not believe any Government, democratic or despotic, can rightfully make a single slave, and that which a Government cannot rightfully do it cannot rightfully or legally authorize or even permit its subject to do. 1 do not believe that there can be legally such a thing as property in man. A majority in a republic cannot rightfully enslave the minority, nor can the accumulated decrees of courts or the musty precedents of Governments make it just.

Note: The first issue is what does "two-thirds" mean? Given the absence of the seceded states. No brainer. It means two thirds of the remainder.

The second issue is whether the amendment process encompasses a fundamental element of the original compact, i.e., property in man.

What Mr. Ashley "beleives" is immaterial; in fact, men enslave other men when it is in their self interest to do so, and they use government to enforce their self-interest. For this reason, slavery still exists in the world, but it is certainly a happy improvement that it does not anymore exist here.

In my judgment, Congress may propose, and three fourths of the States may adopt, any amendment, republican in its character and consistent with the continued existence of the nation, save in the two particulars just named. If they cannot, then is the clause of the Constitution just quoted a dead letter; the States sovereign, the Government a confederation, and the United States not a nation. The extent to which this question of State rights and State sovereignty has aided this terrible rebellion and manacled and weakened the arm of the national Government can hardly be estimated. Certainly doctrines so at war with the fundamental principles of the Constitution could not be accepted and acted upon by any considerable number of our citizens without eventually culminating in rebellion and civil war.

Note: "State rights" means nothing more or less than that, under the Law of Nations which might reasonably be called "the universal law," a distinct people occupying a distinct territory possess sovereignty and this is the political basis upon which their authority to make a government for themselves rests. The people in their sovereign capacity can align their State anyway they wish in the world, they have the physical power to enforce their wish. The British people wishing to remove their State from the European Union is a current example.

This fatal heresy doubtless carried many men of character and culture into the rebellion who were sincerely attached to the Union. If we may credit the recently published private letters of General Lee, written in the spring of 1861, to his sister and friends, and never intended for publication, he was induced to unite his fortunes with the insurgents by the so-called secession of Virginia, under the belief that his first and highest allegiance was due to his State.

Note: General Lee's sisters had married Northern men. Presumably they allowed his letters to be published in the press at or near this time. On April 20, 1861, Lee wrote to his sister, Anne Marshall: "[I]n my own mind I had to meet the question whether I should take part against my native State. With all my devotion to the Union, and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home."

Had he wanted to, Lee could have resigned his commission as an officer in the United States Army and removed himself and his wife, Mary, to Paris and spent the war years at the cafes on the Boulevard St. Germain de pres; his pension intact, his wife's home of Arlington preserved. Instead, he chose to give his sword to Virginia and defend it against the Union's invasion.

See, The Nature of American Citizenship

The Constitution reads: "No State shall, without the consent of Congress. . . shall engage in war, unless actually invaded."

"Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of government."

Prior to the ratification of the 14th amendment, to enjoy the status of being a "citizen of the United States," you first had to be a citizen of a State. Therefore, your primary allegiance was to your native state. So long as Virginia remained a member of the Union, she was one of "them" and, therefore, her citizens would be bound by their allegiance to her, to not give aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States. But, once Virginia seceded from the Union, she was no longer one of "them" and Lee either had to renounce his status as a citizen of Virginia or renouce his status as a citizen of the United States. No longer a citizen of the United States he was not subject to the charge of treason as the Constitution defines it.

Sir, I know how hard it is for loyal men to credit this. To thinking men nothing seems more absurd than the political heresy called States rights in the sense which makes each State sovereign and the national Government the mere agent and creature of the States. Why, sir, the unity of the people of the United States antedates the Revolution. The original thirteen colonies were never in fact disunited. The man who had the right of citizenship in Virginia had the same right in New York. As one people they declared their independence, and as one people, after a seven years' war, conquered it. But the unity and citizenship of the people existed before the Revolution, and before the national Constitution. In fact this unity gave birth to the Constitution. Without this unity and preexisting nationality—if I may so express myself—the Constitution would never have been formed.

Note: The gentleman is objectively wrong. "The man who had the right of citizenship in Virginia had the same right in New York." No, he did not. As a citizen of Virginia he became a citizen of the United States and, as such, he was entitled to the privileges and immunities of a citizen of the United States, which included the right to travel to New York and be treated there as New York treated its own citizens.

At the time of the Declaration of Independence, the people of the "United States" were plainly not "one people" and they certainly did not constitute "one nation." One need only read the text of the Articles of Confederation to recognize this. They evolved into one people and one nation and the great catalyst in this process, was the Civil War.

The framers had tried a confederation. It did not secure them such a Union as they had fought for, and they determined to "form a more perfect Union." For this purpose they met in national convention, and formed a national Constitution. They then submitted it to the electors of the States for their adoption or rejection. They did not submit it to the States as States, nor to the governments of the several States, but to the citizens of the United States residing in all the States. This was the only way in which they could have submitted it and been consistent with the declaration made in the preamble, which says that" we, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, &c., do ordain and establish this Constitution." The whole people were represented in this convention. Through their representatives they pledged each other that whenever the people of nine States should ratify and approve the Constitution submitted to them, it should be the Constitution of the nation.

Note: Ashley is simply dead wrong in his logic here. "The whole people were represented in this convention (spilt into 13 parts). . . they pledged each other that whenever the people of nine states should ratify the constitution, it should be the constitution of the nation. Not a reality. Ashley is saying that, once nine states ratified the constitution it became operative as the government overarching the 13 states, even though four states, for a time, remained in the "perpetual union" of the previous constitution─the Articles of Confederation. The constitution was the constitution of the Union, now, thanks to the Civil War, it is the constitution of the nation.

Let's restate that: "The whole people were represented in this convention. Through their representatives they pledged each other that whenever the people of nine States should ratify and approve the Constitution submitted to them, it should be the Constitution of the nation."

Note: Ashley is closer to reality when he shifts to the fact that, as of 1861, 22 states had been formed out of the territories of the United States and, thus, their character as "States" is certainly not the same as the character of the original 13 states.

Virginia's "right" of secession was based on the political fact it was a sovereign nation in its own right, as viewed through the prism of the Law of Nations: it could come or go as it pleased. But the new states were political entities organized by the power of Congress and admitted by Congress's authority into the Union; as such, the right of these "states" to secede from the Union depended solely upon the natural right of a distinct people to throw off a government they find to be injurious to their life, liberty and happiness as acknowledged by the Declaration of Independence.

This is the doctrine which deluded many men into this rebellion, and which seems to delude some men here with the idea that the national Constitution cannot be amended so as to abolish slavery, even if all the States in the Union demanded it save Delaware.

Note: As to the latter class of states, the ground of their right of secession must lie strictly in the people's natural right of self-defense, their right to throw off a government they deem to be oppressive.

The constitutional State government of South Carolina is as completely destroyed at this moment as though their representatives had not been in these Halls, or their local government recognized by Congress for the last fifty years. Certainly no thoughtful man who has carefully examined this subject will defend the absurdity of the constitutional existence of political communities which we call States after their constitutional State governments have been destroyed by the action of their own citizens.

Note: Ashley is not making sense here.

Speeches were made at the last session, and indeed at every session of Congress since the rebellion, to prove that the several acts of secession of the rebel States being illegal, were therefore void, and that the State constitutions in those States not only remained, but that the government of such States could at any lime be put in motion without the consent of Congress, whenever ten or more loyal men could be found to assume the Governorship and a few of the subordinate offices therein. Loyal citizens of the rebel Slates are fast being cured of this fallacy.

The mass of men did not at first seem to recognize the fact that while acts of secession were illegal and void as affecting the rights of the national Government, its jurisdiction and sovereignty, nevertheless it was such a crime that those committing it forfeited all rights guaranteed them by the national Constitution under their State organization.

Note: (1) "acts of secession" were not illegal and thus not void. (2) No longer "in" the Union by virtue of their "acts of secession," it is correct to say the people of the states no longer held "rights" under the Constitution.

Ashley now shifts gears and moves on the question whether abolition is good economics.

I need not detain the House with an array of facts and figures to demonstrate the great advantage of free over slave labor. All thinking men have examined and comprehend the priceless value of free labor. Pass this amendment, and the free-laboring men of the North and of Europe will flock to the South, so that, in from three to five years, there will be four or five producing men in the rebel States where there was one before the rebellion; add to this vast number the four million emancipated slaves, and you have a free-labor force which, under the security thus given to capital and the inspiration thus given to labor, will make the land to blossom like the rose, and by their energy, enterprise, and power the free laboring men of the South will obliterate in a few years all trace of this terrible and desolating war, and make it a country which for prosperity and wealth shall acknowledge no superior, and a Government which for stability shall have no equal.

Note: Ashley presumes that the free whites he sees flooding the south will mix with the four million free black men and the mix will labor together. What was the reality? At first, after the war, the blacks returned to agriculture as laborers under their former masters, working as wage earners under a contract system receiving $5 to $15 a month and rations. This evolved into the crop lien system by which a merchant advanced the rations and took a mortgage on the crop.

As the post war decades passed, the Africans began leaving the farms for domestic service and industry. By 1890, three-fifths of all Africans in the South (96% of the total black population of the Union) still could neither read nor write.

By 1900, the Africans, in large numbers, were migrating to the towns and to the North. Virtually excluded from Northern industry both by the hostility of trade unions and white workers, these people were forced to turn to domestic employment. There was an obvious effort in the North to block the Africans from all avenues of highly remunerative labor. What places they were able to secure were eventually taken from them as European immigrants poured into the North. The sad story of national racism goes on.

Mr. Orth of Indiana. This war is not of our seeking; its cause, if it be not utterly causeless, is not chargeable to us. We have at all times exhibited the ready acquiescence in the requirements of our national bond. We invaded no rights, we withheld no remedy; but time and again, and again, at the sacrifice of self-respect and of manhood, we have yielded to the behests of the slave power. It was not until treason had reared its armed crest; not until treason had insulted our emblem of nationality; not until treason boldly attacked our national existence, that we took up arms in self-defense; and, having taken up those arms, let them not be grounded until traitors shall submit to constituted authority, and be thoroughly subjugated and properly punished.

Note: ". . . not until treason boldly attacked our national existence, that we took up arms in self-defense." This is King Henry V before the gates of Halfleur: "Therefore, you men of Harfleur, take pity on your town and your people, whiles yet my soldiers are in my command. If not, why, in a moment look to see the blind and bloody soldier with foul hand defile your shrill-shrieking daughters, your fathers taken by the silver beards, and their heads dashed to the walls, your naked infants spitted upon pikes, while the mad mothers with their howls do break the clouds. What say you? Will you yield and this avoid, or, guilty in defense, be thus destroyed?"

Probably it was right that the question of reconsideration should thus have been postponed. During the last session of Congress we were just entering upon an exciting political canvass; this very question of slavery, its further continuance or Its utter destruction, entered largely into the issues and discussion of that canvass; . .

Note: So, the Republicans intentionally let the issue lay aside while they got past the presidential election of November 1864, or were they waiting with bated breath the outcome of Grant's attack upon Lee?

We, by our action here, simply authorize the people to determine for themselves whether they will ratify or reject the proposed amendment. To me it seems that on such a proposition there should not be a dissenting voice. Whatever questions may otherwise divide us, we all assent to the proposition that our people are capable of self-government, and have the right to alter their laws, fundamental as well as statutory.

I do not for a moment believe in either of the positions assumed by the respective friends of each, that secession can take any State out of the Union, or that any State by such act has destroyed itself, committed suicide, as it is said, or that the rebellious district is to be considered and treated as foreign territory.

In dealing with this question of recognition, we must exercise that caution and circumspection which its magnitude demands. "Each House of  Congress shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members;" and hence no man claiming to represent any State can have a seat on this floor until these several facts shall have been adjudicated by this House.

Some good people, in connection with this matter, are giving themselves, in my opinion, much unnecessary uneasiness about the question, "What shall we do for or with the freedmen?" May we not with equal propriety ask, "What shall we do for or with the late owners of these freedmen?" The one is as important as the other, and both may well claim the consideration of the statesman and the philanthropist.

Both classes have been and are being liberated from the thralldom of slavery, and their new condition presents many interesting phases. The war, however, in its varying changes, is daily relieving both questions of many of their supposed complications, and probably the wisest course to pursue is to hasten the day when the system which has debased the one and enfeebled the other shall cease to exist; to leave both classes in the hands of God who created them, and giving to each equal protection under the law, bid them go forth with the scriptural injunction, "In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread."

Mr. Schofield.

Mr. Chanler of New York. And the allusion made by my colleague, [Mr. Brooks,] in regard to the most uncalled-for interference by the Federal Government at the time of the last general election, is in itself a proof that no such class as the gentleman alluded to holds dominion there. Insulted by a fleet of the United States riding in her harbors, ready to send its soldiery to trample down our rights and interfere with our franchises, even that was borne patiently and calmly by our people, confident that they were capable of self-government, and believing and I had hoped that they had a trust which would be realized—that the representatives of the people of the United States at large in Congress assembled would appreciate their noble forbearance and deprecate the outrage committed against them.

There were not only such citizens of New York in that distinguished regiment, but the Irish-born citizens, men from the stews and bagnios, of whom the gentleman so siieeringly spoke. Yes, sir, the Irish regiments of the city of New York, and the German regiments of New York, men who were liere hardly long enough to comprehend the English language, in the ebullition of patriotism, as the trumpet call came from Washington, poured forth, regiment after regiment, in thousands of thousands of men, until the Secretary of. . .

January 7

Mr. BLISS of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I deem it my duty to the people whom I represent as a member of this body, to utter in their name some words of protestation against the immolation of the Constitution of the United States which is threatened, by the representatives of the party which holds the majority of this House. In that sacred instrument is contained the life-blood of our Government, and in its fate is involved the highest mortal interest of the American people.

Revolution, leaping in the dark, is ever of the most dangerous tendency. We shall act foolishly as a nation if we allow ourselves for any selfish motive to forsake and spurn the well-tried principles and policy upon which our fathers built our Government, and from the just application of which nothing has resulted in opposition to peace, prosperity, and unprecedented national advancement. We shall act foolishly and rashly if we abandon the approved guarantees of national happiness and greatness which Heaven and the loftiest human wisdom have permitted us to possess,  and adopt in their stead some untried and speculative  policy, the realization of which is only in vague imaginations of an uncertain and imperiled future.

Upon what reasoning and recognition of facts does any member of this Congress claim the possible power, under the foregoing article, to take the initiatory steps to the change proposed? Are the States whose people, in part, are in rebellion against the General Government out of the Union in theory and in fact? Are they foreign Powers, and their inhabitants foreign people, not subject to the Constitution and laws of the United States?

If so, why do we raise and send mighty hosts to enforce, by the sword, the bayonet, and the cannon, obedience and subjugation to that Constitution and to those laws?

If the people of the so called seceded States are not citizens in the Union, why are our courts engaged, under an act of Congress, in confiscating their estates for acts of treason against their Government? Treason implies citizenship; it cannot be committed by an alien or an enemy.

If those States are not out of the Union in theory of law, and if their people owe the allegiance to the Government of the United States which is claimed of them, then clearly those States are among the number of States three fourths of whom must unite their voices upon any proposition to amend their Constitution.

Note: The obvious answer is that the seceded states are out of the Union; therefore it takes ¾ of the remainder to ratify the proposed amendment.

From the commencement of what everyone has called rebellion the people of the Federal Stales, of all parties, and without distinction, have agreed upon the common idea and doctrine that ordinances of secession are null and void; that the sovereignty of the Constitution was unalterably fixed upon all the people of the realm, and on that faith, and that only, the Union-loving patriotism of the country has responded to all calls made by the military administration, and allowed the blood of the nation to be freely poured out and expended, and a grievous national debt to be incurred.

Are we now to see the predominating party holding these great issues in its hands change front upon this vital question? If so, then manifestly, with the policy of the nation in their hands, there is no hope of a restoration of the Union. A change in our public councils  must occur or we shall be stripped of the birthright which we most valued.

But were the proposed action practicable in a legal point of view, 1 should shrink from the policy as putting us upon untenable ground, and making us to assume the character of aggressors while we profess to be fighting against and punishing aggression—we, who ought in this terrible business, to have no stain upon our hands.

Undoubtedly the rebellion is a great wrong; but it would certainly be meeting wrong with wrong to deny them their original constitutional rights in the Union when they shall have returned to it. Whoever wishes for their return should openly condemn all such policy. Whatever moral question may be involved in the subject of negro slavery in any State of the original Confederacy is a question for determination and settlement only by the people of such State. To abandon or maintain the institution according to the sense, will, and policy of the people of such local sovereignty, was an undisputed right before and at the time of their entering into the Federal Union; and the great compact of confederation, the Constitution of the United States, gave, them no new right in that respect. . .

By the amendment it is proposed to crush out a sovereign right and power which never was placed within the jurisdiction of any authority except the local sovereignty by whose laws it exists. Such is the main principle of the Government framed by Washington and his compeers. It cannot now be changed except by revolution.

it is the desire of a great majority of our people to reconstruct the Union upon its old basis. Upon that basis compromise can be made and the war honorably closed; but upon no other or more restricted plan can it be done. Subjugation of the South, and sway over it, can be accomplished only by standing armies. We cannot dictate in any other way the abandonment of their constitutional and reserved rights.

The pretense of a humanitarian motive toward the Africans amounts to nothing but a display of systematic and intense hypocrisy. All sensible men perceive that the African slaves, whether held under the new bondage of the so-called freedmen, on confiscated plantations, or scattered in want and undeserved suffering over the North, are the much abused and unfortunate victims of an unlawful interference with the protection and support to the benefits of which they were born; and that the best possible disposition of them is to restore them to their primal condition.

They have been used as a party political instrumentality to their bitter cost, and they have sense enough to know that politicians cannot reverse the decree of Almighty God and make their race equal, socially or politically, with white men. Such may be the opinion of the fanatical politician; but the more sane mind of the African, weak as it may be, has too much perspicacity not to perceive the deceptive bait which is thrown him. Many of them are now sighing for the happy homes from which they have been seduced.

The SPEAKER. The question is on the motion to reconsider the vote by which the House
rejected the joint resolution submitting to the Legislatures of the several Slates a proposition to amend the Constitution of the United States.

Mr. ROGERS of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, it is the first time in the history of this country, until the present party came into power, when any body of men claimed that in the Constitution of the United States, and by virtue of the laws of the several States before they formed it, each State had no right to legislate and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively. In this question there are not only involved at this time the propriety of interfering with the constitution of the country, but behind that a grave and serious question, in my judgment arises, whether there is any power in the confederated Government of this country by any act of legislation and confirmation of the Legislatures of three quarters of the States to interfere with the domain of any State whatever, or its right to control the institution of slavery or any other domestic institution, which was not delegated to the General Government but reserved to the States exclusively.

I say, sir, that all the parties of the country, not only the Democratic party, but the old Whig party, and the Republican party, until lately, always claimed and held that this institution of slavery was peculiarly under the province of the individual States, and that when the States entered into this confederated Government the powers that they did not delegate to that Government were expressly reserved to the States; that no power not delegated to the General Government could by the force of any amendment to the Constitution be taken away from the States, because they had only confederated themselves together for the purpose laid down in the organic act, and because it would be an act of the creature not given by its creator.

Note: The logic of Mr. Rogers makes perfect sense when the political relationship of the parties is viewed in the abstract, viewed strictly in the words written in the constitution. But when push comes to shove words just don't count for much: they can be twisted, turned, re-interpreted, shades of meaning can be viewed as changed, to fit the reality of the times.

I hold now, as the law of the land and as the well-settled principle laid down by the authors of the organic act and by all the great men who have written on the subject, that the institution of slavery belongs peculiarly and solely to the States, and that no thirty three States, or any other number, by combining together have the lawful right to deprive a single State of an institution which was not delegated to the General Government, and which was reserved by the people when they entered into the confederation of States and formed the American Union.

If it be true that the States where slavery existed never delegated the right to interfere with that institution, what right has the Congress of the United States or the people of other States, through their Legislatures, to interfere with slavery in another State, which institution is peculiarly and solely the creature of the State—a right which was never delegated to the General Government, and to interfere with which has always been held by all parties we had no right? Solely and alone it has been always held that the institution belonged exclusively to the jurisdiction of the States.

If you look at the platform adopted by the Republican convention at Chicago, which nominated Abraham Lincoln in 1860, you will find that it lays down that the right to control this domestic institution rests exclusively with the States, and that that right is essential to the perfection and endurance of our political institutions.

Now, if it was a principle of this Government, well recognized, that it was a right reserved to the States to legislate upon this subject according to their own internal will, it is a right which still exists.

Because this country has been involved in a war; because a civil revolution has rocked the country from one end to the other; because it is now a question who is responsible for the war, that does not change a lawful principle if that principle existed before hostilities commenced; and we are bound now by the same rule, controlled by the same law and indubitable principle which never dies or passes away, and it is reserved to the people of the respective States today and hereafter to control and do as they see fit with that which was never delegated to the General Government, but expressly reserved to the respective States.

Note: The gentleman's reasoning is unassailable up to the last point which turns on the conclusion whether the Confederate States "legally" seceded from the Union. If they did, then being out of the Union, they no longer had any legal right to claim the benefit of the bargain, claim that the Union is bound toward them by the same rule that the question of slavery is solely a matter of their domestic policies. The Confederate states, outside the Union, when they lose the war, are now conquered territory of the Union which can do with it as it pleases.

While the Confederacy is losing, the Union congress may submit a proposed amendment to the states still in it, and the issue now becomes can 3/4 of those states ratify an amendment that strips an essential element of the original compact away─that is, the exclusive control of their domestic policies.

The abstract answer is plainly "No," but already Maryland has changed its constitution, Missouri is changing its constitution, Delaware soon will do so, too. This leaves Kentucky as the only practical dissenter.

Abstractly, too, you can reasonably argue that, it was part of the original agreement that an agreement to amend made by 3/4of the States binds the dissenters.

No one will deny that before the formation of the Constitution, and at the time of the Declaration of Independence, the institution of slavery was exclusively under the jurisdiction and control of the organic law of the State in which it existed. If that is so, is there anything to be found in the organic law which shows that when those nine States first ratified the Constitution they delegated to the General Government any right whatever with regard to this institution? On the contrary, did they not, by the very language of the Constitution, reserve all powers not delegated to the General Government? And if they did reserve it to the people of the respective States, if it was an institution of the States, I ask any man how it is possible, by any amendment of the Constitution, for the General Government to become possessed of the right to legislate upon and control an institution the power over which was never delegated by the States when they entered into and framed the Constitution of the country?

There is nothing in the Constitution which recognizes for one moment that the whole structure and framework of the Government may be amended or altered in reference to matters reserved to the States, matters never delegated to the General Government.

If the position in reference to the amendment of the Constitution taken by gentlemen on the other side of the House be true, then the other relations of the States, the marital rights, the rights of husband and wife, of parent and child, of master and servants; the right of making private contracts, the rights of courts, the manner in which they shall obtain evidence, the allowance of parties to be witnesses, the jurisdiction and powers of State courts, the rights of suffrage for State officers. . . . all can be changed.

it is proposed that three fourths of the States—States wherein slavery docs not exist; States which have no interest in that species of properly—shall get together, and by the action of three fourths of them deprive of their property the citizens of the loyal border States; the men who have braved this current of war, and shown the proudest and purest patriotism of any class of men on the face of the earth; the men who have invested their money in slave property. . .

Shall it be said that under a republican Government, in a country supposed to be one of liberty, that we can trample on the rights of those men by taking their property without any compensation whatever, and robbing them of that which by the Constitution of the country is guarantied to them, and which by the blood of their fathers who fought against the wickedness and tyranny of England was handed down to them to be perpetuated to them and their children and children's children unimpaired forever?

Note: He is making a hell of a point. Three fourths of the states can amend the constitution to take away the property of the loyal citizens of one fourth of the states? And do what with it? Spilt it among themselves? Give it away to a foreign country? This is pure abstraction. The reality is that the "property" becomes free men suddenly appearing in the community whose property was taken, and now these free men are to be the political, much less social, equals of their erstwhile owners? An impossible situation, isn't it, in the real world of men?

The third paragraph of the Republican platform reads that,

"The right of each State to legislate and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend."

Now, is that true? Is the right of each State to legislate and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively essential to that balance of power upon which the perfection and endurance of our Republic depend? Was it true in 1860 that the right of each State to legislate and control its institutions in that way was necessary to the endurance of this political fabric? Why did the Republican party establish that platform? Why was Mr. Lincoln nominated upon that platform and go to the American people in 1860 and ask them to support him?

It is not our duty to settle the justice or injustice, the policy or impolicy, of slavery. It
will not be disputed that before the adoption of the organic law every State had a right to confer on whom it pleased the rights and privileges of citizens, and it cannot be successfully denied that property in the African race was then sustained by law, and it will not be denied by any lawyer that the several Stales never surrendered these rights and privileges by adopting the Constitution of the United States. Will any man then pretend that the provisions of the organic act in relation to the personal rights to which a citizen of the State was entitled included the negro African race at that time here, or who should afterward be imported?

They had for more than a century before been regarded as an inferior race and not fit to associate with whites, socially or politically; that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for the benefit of the while race.

Note: This is the essence of the thing: white racism, a racism the people of the North and their descendants were infected with equally with the people of the South.

I presume that no right minded man will pretend that the framers of the Declaration of Independence, when they said that all men were born equal and had certain inalienable
rights, intended to include slaves, because slaves at that time never had held any political
rights. Slaves had been held here long before the formation of the Constitution; the institution had been transmitted by England and other European nations to the colonies here; slaves were treated here as property liable to be bought and sold, and not as 'citizens within the meaning of the Declaration of Independence or of the original laws of the country.

ScottQuoting In Re Dred Scott: "The general words above quoted would seem to embrace the whole human family, and if they were used in a similar instrumental this day would be so understood. But it is too clear for dispute, that the enslaved African race were not intended to be included, and formed no part of the people who framed  and adopted this Declaration; for if the language, as understood in that day, would embrace them, the conduct of the distinguished men who framed the Declaration of Independence would have been utterly and fragrantly inconsistent with the principles they asserted; and instead of the sumpathy of mankind, to which they so forcefully appealed, they would have deserved and received universal rebuke and reprobation.

The history of our country will, in pages red with blood, record that this war was caused by the acts of the abolitionists of the North; of those men who interfered with the institutions of the South. Those men are responsible for all this bloodshed which is now wetting American soil, and causing the earth to groan beneath the deadly weight of the commingled bones of our brethren. I charge here to-day that this interference with slavery has alone severed our glorious Union; blighted our national prosperity, wrccked our civil and political liberty; studded our country with the graves of noble soldiers; caused a hundred fields to weep with brothers' blood; and the screams of wives and mothers to emanate from domestic circles at the ghastly appearance of a tyrant's assassin dragging from the death-bed of a wife or the grave of the child the husband and father, to be incarcerated in a dungeon or cell. I implore you, in the name of truth, do not charge upon slavery the cause of this war.

Why, gentlemen, where are we to land if such a constitutional amendment as is now proposed be lawful? Look at the declaration of the platform adopted at Baltimore, the platform upon which Mr. Lincoln received the suffrages of a majority of the American people. That platform declares that slavery is the cause of the war, and that the preservation of the national life demands its complete extermination; and on that ground it approves, as coming within the powers of the Constitution, the proclamation of Mr. Lincoln abolishing slavery.

Mr. Davis of New York. Nature made all men free, and entitled them to equal rights before the law; and this Government of ours must stand upon this principle, which, sooner or later, will be recognized throughout the civilized world.

We are told, while asserting this principle of legal or civil equality, that we are violating the fundamental principle of the Constitution under which we live, by the measure now under consideration. I can see no such violation, and even if there were a technical violence done to the letter of the Constitution I should hold it defensible for the purpose of preserving the life and the power of the Republic which our fathers framed for the perpetuation of civil liberty.

Note: This fellow nails it. And yet he, too, is a racist.

I am not, sir, one of those who believe that the emancipation of the black race is of itself to elevate them to an equality with the white race. I believe in the distinction of races as existing in the providence of God for his wise and beneficent designs to man; but I would make every race free and equal before the law, permitting to each the elevation to which its own capacity and culture should entitle it, and securing to each the fruits of its own progression. This we can do only by removing every vestige of African slavery from the American Republic.

The SPEAKER, (after a pause.) Is the House ready for the question.'

Mr. GRINNELL of Iowa. I move that the House adjourn.

Mr. ASHLEY. Oh, no.

The SPEAKER. No gentleman rises to claim the floor.

Mr. HIGBY. Mr. Speaker. . .

The SPEAKER. Does the gentleman from Iowa [Mr. Grinnell] withdraw the motion to

Mr. GRINNELL. I withdraw the motion, and yield to the gentleman from California, [Mr. HiGBY.]

Mr. HIGBY. Mr. Speaker, the debate upon. . .

January 9th


The SPEAKER. The next business in order is the consideration of the business in which the House was engaged at the adjournment on Saturday, being the motion to reconsider the vote by which the House on the 15th of last June rejected a joint resolution (S. No. 16) submitting to the Legislatures of the several States a proposition to amend the Constitution of the United States.

Mr. YEAMAN of Kentucky. For my part my position is well known. I have never hesitated to proclaim that the war against the rebellion must go on to a successful termination although in its progress slavery may be utterly subverted, and to declare most explicitly that if I must choose between secession and slavery on the one hand and universal emancipation and nationality on the other, I would embrace and cling to and defend our nationality, and profoundly rejoice over every victory of the arms of the Republic and over every discomfiture of its enemies on the field and at the polls.

Note: Yeaman was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, the son of Lucretia Sneed (Helm) and Steven Minor Yeaman. Yeaman completed preparatory studies and studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1852 and commenced practice in Owensboro, Kentucky. He served as judge of Daviess County in 1854, and served as member of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1861.

Yeaman was elected as a Unionist to the Thirty-seventh Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James S. Jackson. He was reelected to the Thirty-eighth Congress and served from December 1, 1862, to March 3, 1865. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1864 to the Thirty-ninth Congress.

Yeaman served as the United States Minister to Denmark from 1865 to 1870. He resigned in 1870 and settled in New York City. He then served as a Lecturer on constitutional law at Columbia College. He served as president of the Medico-Legal Society of New York. He died in Jersey City, New Jersey, on February 23, 1908. He was interred in Hillside Cemetery, Madison, New Jersey.

When the Africans are all emancipated they will have a natural but unwise desire to leave the regions of their former toils and emigrate. They will go north and west. There they will come in competition with white labor. White labor at the South will be in demand and many estates will be for sale, probably in small parcels, which will induce a large white emigration from North to South, so that if there are disadvantages in emancipation they will not fall entirely on the South. And I have an opinion that from these causes will occur a natural, but not painful and violent, diminution of the race that will relieve the next generation of much apprehension on their account.

Note: Yeaman's vision is that the Africans will leave the South and white men from the North will take their place, and in this process of change the Africans as a people will fade away.

The White Man's Interests

I go now for saving a Government of constitutional and regulated liberty for the white man. I am interested more for him than about the African. The President recommends this amendment. 1 would have liked his message better if he had urged some others; and if I thought I could pass them I would be tempted to offer them here. One to declare that no State can, for any cause, secede, leaving the case on the old and well-understood doctrine of revolution; one that no State shall nullify any act of Congress, or otherwise impede its action than by judicial inquiry and judgment; one drawing with more precision and clearness the line between State and Federal powers, for it is upon this point I think our Constitution less aptly expressed than upon any other; . . .

Note: He is recognizing that a legal argument exists that secession is implicit in the compact, given the objective circumstances and the law of nations. This argument is a legitimate one to be argued by the old states, led by Virginia as they were originally recognized by the law of nations as "States." But it does not work for the "states" that were formed from the territories of the United States. Those states, as Yeaman suggests, must rely for the legitimacy of their secession upon the right of revolution, upon the natural right of a people to throw off a government they find oppressive.

My Own Experience.

It must not be ill naturedly said of me that I make no sacrifice of slave property in this matter. I never had much of any kind; and if I had today all the money that Africans have cost me in different ways I would be much obliged to them. 1 owned two. One 1 found it good to send off for the safety of my children, and the other thought it a good thing to run off just in time to save me the expense of supporting her the balance of her life. And 1 had two hired. One was stolen away by a northern substitute agency, who wisely preferred a direct personal interview with Joe to a formal correspondence with General Sherman on the subject, and the other went to the Army, (I hope he is a better soldier than he was a farmer,) leaving me minus some things which I had innocently supposed were mine and not his, leaving my place in the weeds and my hire note outstanding and unpaid. And now that they have all gone 1 feel so much better that I deem it but polite and neighborly to invite the whole world to try the experiment.

Yeaman Expresses a Theory of Labor

Emancipation is now the true economy in Kentucky. Right or wrong the Government has taken her full-bodied slaves for the service, and will continue to take them, leaving the women and children on our hands for support. Being deprived of the benefits of the system must we cling to its burdens? If there is a part of that population yet desirable as laborers, consider whether emancipation is not now the only means left of securing their services, and whether this being refused or deferred they will not all leave, with the hope of procuring freedom elsewhere, and whether upon the whole a reasonable hire is not better for both parties, the negro feeding and clothing himself, paying his own doctor's bills, with all the stimulus to industry and economy springing from the compensated labor system?

Labor is like any other thing of value; it is worth what it costs, and will cost what it is worth, and will find its commercial level. It is therefore impossible in the nature of things that slave labor can be cheaper than free. An able-bodied man in fair times would readily command $1,200. The interest on that at ten per cent is $120. His food, clothes, and medical attention would not be worth less than $120 more, in all $240. How much more would free labor cost? With the disadvantage on the part of the master, that the slave may die or run off, and will surely wear out, while his cash value might have been made a permanent investment in something else.

Note: You invest $1,200 of capital, to gain the benefit of a person's life time labor, taking the risk he might disappear from several causes before you have recovered the value of the capital spent. Add to this, the interest you would have earned had you invested the capital in something else, like real estate. To this, add the fixed costs of food, clothes, shelter, and medical attention, the cost measured by the necessity to keep the laborer healthy. At some point, in comparing the relative cost of using a slave vs using an Irishman, an economy of scale must kick in. While you may find it easy to hire one or two Irishman to work your farm, how likely that you can intice a hundred?

One reasonable explanation for the persistence of slavery in the South is the fact that the Africans were there. Given white racism, some system of controlling them, keeping them apart from the white community was required, and slavery was the mechanism already in place.

Contrary to myth, unless he was stupid, the planter treated his slaves with kid gloves; they were field hands, special laborers, who he did not allow to be used in rough, heavy, back breaking labor─that labor was reserved for the Irishman. In 1861, when the Richmond government called on the big slave owners to lend their slaves for the work of building the fortifications for the city, the military roads, the railroads, the owners were most reluctant to comply.

It has been urged that as slavery was in existence when the Constitution was framed, and was by that instrument recognized and guaranteed, it thus became a vested interest (of the original States signing on), and that it is incompetent by subsequent amendment to divest that interest, especially in States refusing to adopt the amendment; and that it is incompetent for the General Government in any form to regulate domestic and State institutions.

To my mind this is a singular misapplication of legal reasoning. The argument is based on the concept of "state rights," i.e., state sovereignty, compact, league, &c. It is well known I do not belong to that school. It is applying to the constitutional, fundamental legislation of the people, acting in their sovereign capacity, the same rules and limitations which do apply to statutory enactments and to the legislative powers of Congress as delegated and limited by the people.

This is in the nature of an original compact of government, springing from the source of all power, the people. It is competent for them to construct a Government as they please. Surely, in the original instrument or contract, they could have declared all slavery abolished. The contracting power is inherent in them, and they have pointed out the mode by which the instrument may be amended. It is equally competent to do by amendment what might have been done by original compact. If it was competent to declare that three fifths of the slaves should be represented in this House, it was equally competent to declare that none of them should be or that they all should be. It is not a question of construction or of legislative power. The argument I am combating would limit the power of the people in framing a Government.

Note: Yeaman's statement of the case is essentially correct, but his conclusion is wrong. There is no question but that the original thirteen "States" were in fact and law "States;" states in the sense understood by the law of nations. These states, one by one, agreed to give up that part of their sovereign powers that operated in the external world beyond their individual borders: war, interstate commerce, relations with foreign states etc. But they plainly made clear in their compact that the Union they were forming among themselves would have no power to interfere with each State's own domestic policies.

One such policy was the State's recognition that an African's labor constituted property which could be bought and sold and controlled. Given white racism, there were good reasons for the State adopting this domestic policy: the Africans were present in the state, in large numbers, and had to be controlled, organized, made useful and occupied in some way. What better way than by the adoption of a system of slavery?

 It is ridiculous for one to argue, today, that, in 1787, when the compact was formed, there was any chance the white people of the time might have chosen to include the Africans in their new community as citizens, sharing equally in the exercise of political power, much less enjoy equally with the whites social status.

Therefore, Yeaman's argument falls flat when he suggests that "the people" at any time after the compact was ratified, could strip the States of their domestic policy, and thus destroy millions of dollars of private property instantly, by using the process the constitution provides for its amendment. Private property, in other words, could not possibly have been contemplated by the parties to the compact as subject to be instantly destroyed by the mechanism of three fourths of the States agreeing to amend the constitution to destroy the property rights of the dissenting one fourth. Unless, the destruction─the taking─was at least compensated for; something the three fourths would refuse to allow the Union to do. So, in resolving to propose the 13th amendment to the States for ratification, the politicians in control of Congress were proposing a revolution, they were asking the States to perform a revolutionary act; to destroy the agreement as written and accepted by the parties and replace it, by an agreement dictated to the minority by the majority.

Peace Between the Races.

The system of slavery, as I have observed it in Kentucky, wears none of those trails of cruelty and brutality that have been pictured on the northern mind. The household of kind mistresses and contented slaves has something of  attractiveness in it. But the content, the quiet, and the mutual confidence have passed away. I need not stop to tell why. We all know. It is palpable that so long as the war continues slavery will continue to tumble to pieces. When the war is over and the freed slave returns to intermix with the others, the institution could only be preserved in the form of a modified state of war, resulting at last in open war between the races. Who is so simple as to want for a slave a man who has borne arms as a soldier under a promise of freedom for his services?

Who would undertake to keep in subjection a family of slaves constantly exposed to the influence of the returned freed men who have learned confidence, sagacity, and boldness in the school of war? It cannot be, it will not be, and we had as well prepare to preserve the peace between the races.

I look for the large slaveholders who have had numerous and expensive families left on their hands soon to become the most urgent emancipationists from motives of economy and justice to themselves. I will not now stop to discuss the final destiny of the black man. I expressed myself clearly and at length on that subject last session, and have seen no cause to change my mind.

Note: When he admits the value of the labor is really not much different either way, he is admitting that the system, the powers that be, on both sides, sanctioned slavery as a means of controlling the African population, more than for any perceived economic benefit. It was a wash, either way.

Mr. Morrill of Vermont. It is said that this question of slavery is one of the reserved rights of the States which we must not touch. It may be a proved traitor, pirate, and murderer, but is still too sacred to be touched by military or even civil authority!

I concede that there are many rights reserved to the States, yet if it were the conviction of two thirds of the States that any one of these rights would be more safely or more wisely exercised by the General Government, who shall deny their power to surrender any such right to the control of the United States?

But slavery is a wrong; so recognized by the whole civilized world; and cannot claim immunity as a right. There is now practically but one amendment to the Constitution which we are not at liberty to make, and that relates to a wholly different subject, namely, "No State without its consent shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate." Anything else than this is as much an open question as it would be if we were now at work framing a Constitution for the first lime for a free people.

Note: Morrill has added an element to the argument of abstraction Yeaman raised. Article V states the case how the constitution may be amended. It first sets forth the rule that it takes two thirds to propose an amendment and three fourths to make it binding; then it qualifies the scope of the amendment power by stating that (1) no amendment can be made prior to the year 1808 which changes "in any manner the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section in the first article (i.e., slave trade) and (2) that "no state shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate."

The fact that the framers set forth specific issues as beyond the scope of the amendment process implies that they intended no other issue─such as the right of property in Africans─to be beyond the amendment power. In other words, it can be argued that by implication the framers intended that the right of property in slaves could be extinquished by the amendment process.

Furthermore, as originally written and ratified, there is nothing in the constitution that expressly required the Union to compensate the property owners if their property were taken by the amendment process. However, once the states ratified the fifth amendment such language was inserted into the agreement and necessarily qualified the right of the Union by the amendment process to take property for public use without providing just compensation.

Nor can it be ignored that the party in power manufactured out of whole cloth "legislatures" for Tennessee, "West Virginia," and Missouri, to add to its ratifying block, and it coerced the Confederate states, one by one, to ratify the amendments.

The signs of the times show that this proud people have been humbled and more than half conquered. They would now give up slavery to save their own necks from the common doom of rebels. General Sheridan has quieted the rebel army of the Shenandoah; General Thomas has annihilated the army of the Tennessee; General Grant bides his time, abundantly sure of his prey; and General Sherman marches where he pleases through the empire State of the South, and the people of Savannah, twenty thousand strong, not more wise or more ready than the people of scores of other southern cities, under the call of their mayor, have resolved that the war, so far as they are concerned, is at an end.

Note: Only after Lincoln has been reelected as president and the armies of the Union have clearly brought the Confederacy to its knees, is the resolution to amend the constitution to eliminate slavery going to pass Congress. The Republicans no longer need Democrats or border states to prosecute their war.

To show that the rebels themselves are at last conscious of being on the road to ruin, 1 give an extract from a late copy of the Richmond Sentinel, as follows:

We think that our late reverses have done much toward preparing the minds of our people for the most extreme sacrifices if they shall be adjudged necessary to the success     of our cause. And in truth they are not sacrifices at all when compared with our situation. If subjugated, it is a question simply whether we shall give for our own uses or whether the Yankees shall take for theirs. Subjugation means emancipation and confiscation."

All our servants and all our property yielded up to assist in the defense of our country would mean no more, but it would be far more glorious to devote our means to our success than to lose them as spoils to the enemy. Our situation, too, stripped of our property but muster of the government, would be infinitely better than if despoiled by the enemy and wearing his bonds.

Mr. Odell of New York. If the proposed amendment to the Constitution as it passed the Senate shall receive the vote of two thirds of the members of this body, as required by the fifth article of the Constitution, and shall then be ratified by the people, its immediate effect will be to liberate from bondage three million seven hundred and forty-eight thousand three hundred and ninety-three human beings, as shown by the census of 1860, securing to them the blessings of freedom.

Its influence will not only reach the African, but will affect for good the future destiny of the white race North and South. The material interest of three hundred and forty-five thousand five hundred and thirty four slaveholders will be of course affected, and it is a fact that of this number two hundred and seventy-five thousand six hundred and eighty-one persons own less than ten slaves, and of this latter number seventy-six thousand six hundred and seventy own a single slave, showing that the interest is not of such extent as many at the North have heretofore been led to suppose. 1 cannot but conclude, from the best light I can obtain, that the operation of this measure will be most beneficial to the non-slaveholding white population of the southern States.

When these poorer laboring classes shall no longer have to contend with and struggle against and be degraded by slave labor, then, and not until then, will they come into the enjoyment of blessings such as are now fully enjoyed by the honest, toiling, working men of the North. When labor shall be free at the South, then will it command and have the respect which is its just due. Then will millions of the white men of the North participate and share in the blessings thus secured. The masses of our native and foreign born laborers, now toiling in the severer climate of the North, will be invited to enter upon these newly opened fields for their industry and occupation. The now hidden resources of the States south will be developed by the brain and muscle of the northern laborer.

Mr. Ward. They have gone out from among us under the false pretense that they foresaw in the future that they should lose their just political power and influence in the Union, and acting upon this self-imposed delusion they have drawn the sword wantonly and willfully upon the Government and loyal people of the United States.

Note: What they foresaw was that the North was overpowering them with immigrant population, taking control of the Union and the territories of the Union, with the intent to leave the Africans bottled up in the South as the economics of the slavery system, which holds the African in check, becomes untenable, forcing the system to break down and leaving the southern whites to deal with the Africans alone.

The war is no longer waged for the purpose of restoring the union of all the sovereign States that are and ever were in our great national communion, with all the purity and strength of our precious Constitution undimmed and untarnished, but for the newly-avowed object of subjugation, extermination, and emancipation, until every Southerner shall be reduced to the most crouching and abject submission, not to the Constitution, but personally to those who hold the sword and the purse of the country. Sir, I am not prepared to join in any such crusade.

So far as 1 can see, Mr. Speaker, in any form of civilization resembling our own, servitude will always exist; and servitude rendered necessary by circumstances which the servile party cannot control, is bondage.

Bondage will differ in form, as it is modified by the character of the parties between whom it exists, and it will differ in intensity as it is affected more or less by external conditions. The relation of master and servant in the South is natural to this extent: it is the relation into which the white and black races, being brought together, naturally fell under the influences of mutual necessities for personal security, social tranquility, and subsistence.

We All Must Serve Somebody.

The relation of master and servant in Great Britain is affected by the pressure of a costly Government, which draws from labor, through capital, the means to defray its annual expenses. Servitudes differ in degree and they differ in kind, but the most important difference of the two—the one that is at once the most significant and the least changeable—is the difference in degree; a man may be nominally free, but if he is a workman without capital, and lives in a state of society of which it may be said "once a peasant always a peasant; once a factory operative always a factory operative;" if the constant labor of his body when in health is only just sufficient to provide him with food and clothing, and if old age, or a few days of illness, inevitably reduce him to pauperism or starvation, he has little lo boast of his freedom.

The freedom of a British working man consists in a limited liberty to change his employer. He is descended from ancestors who toiled as he toils, all their days for food, clothing, and shelter, and these scanty in quantity and poor in quality. He begets a posterity to whom he transmits his proverty and his hopelessness, and his whole life, from his cradle to his grave, is one long desperate struggle against starvation and nakedness.

This is British liberty to a majority of the people of England. This is what it has been for hundreds of years, with no prospect of change but for the worse. Legislation has been tried abundantly, with a view to work improvements, and with worse than no avail. England has always had, and now has her theorists who have labored to create imaginary Utopias, but that vast war debt which like a millstone is grinding the people to powder, and pressing them into the earth, is a thing that cannot be lifted by constitutional clauses or parliamentary expedients.

Note: Of course this is true, but notwithstanding this, we all in the end want to go our own way.

Here is a thing, sir, which may well enlist the wisdom of the wisest statesmen of the country. If Nature has made the black man different in any respect from the white man, all the constitutional clauses in the world will do nothing toward obliterating that difference. If it has made the black man like the white man, that likeness will at the proper time assert itself without constitutional assistance. Nature can neither be hindered nor accelerated by legislative contrivances, and no more than the European can the African be elevated to any valuable purpose by the will of another.

Mr. Mallory. Mr. Speaker, gentlemen may say what they please about the proposed amendment of the Constitution of the United States, but no man can successfully deny the assertion I now make, that it is a radical change of the Government of the United States. It is not an expedient resorted to at this time to end this rebellion and restore peace to the land; but it is a blow aimed at the very foundations of the Government which our fathers gave us, and of which we have been long so proud. It is an effort to take from the States of this Union, by constitutional amendment, the great power of regulating their domestic and social affairs in their own way, and 1 deny the power to do that by Congress, even though an amendment of the Constitution adopted in accordance with the mode pointed out for amending that instrument.

If you can do that can you not also introduce an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting States of the Union from regulating their marital relations? Can you not, with the same propriety, take from every State of the Union the right to regulate the relations of guardian and ward? Can you not, on the grounds on which you claim the right now to change radically the Government of the United States, deprive the States of the Union by constitutional amendment, at a time like this, of every power which they exercise under our form of government?

And at what a time do you attempt this? You attempt it at a time when you are exerting all the powers of the Government to bring back to their allegiance eleven rebellious States of this Union. You are urging that they are still States of this Union; that they are still bound by the Constitution and laws of the United States. They have refused obedience to those laws and that Constitution, and you are endeavoring to force them to yield that obedience which they have refused to yield willingly.

Now, have we a right to do this? Have we, the Representatives of the people of the United States, has this Government of the United States the right to call upon the rebels to yield obedience to this Government after we have made it a Government entirely different from that from which they seceded or against which they rebelled?

Note: Mallory hits the nail on the head here. His question makes plain that what is happening here, is that the Union is conquering the Confederacy as it would a foreign power; that, in fact and law, the Confederacy was a foreign power by virtue of two distinct arguments: first, as to the old states they lawfully seceded from the Union, because they did not give up their sovereignty to be a vassal of the Union when they signed onto the compact defined by the Constitution; and, second, as to the states admitted by congress into the Union out of the territories of the United States, the people thereof exercised their natural right of revolution when they switched their allegiance to the Confederacy. Just as Great Britain waged war against its colonies, so, too, did the Union wage war against its states.

What is the moral obligation upon them to yield now, when you shall have changed the fundamental law as you propose to change it? Ay! I go further, and ask, what is the moral obligation of loyalty and obedience resting upon any State of this Union, loyal or rebel, if you do this thing? Do you not thereby absolve every State from its allegiance to this Government?

The President of the United States pays us a very high complement included in his last annual message. He calls upon this Congress, before its expiring hour, to reconsider its action upon this question, and to do now what we refused to do at the last session. What reason does he propose to us for that change? What arguments does he produce in favor of it now that he and others did not adduce at the time this action was before urged upon us? None at all. He simply says: "Gentlemen, it will be done by the next Congress, and as the result is inevitable, as three fourths of the next House of Representatives will be in favor of it, why postpone the result? why defer it? Why not accept your fate and bow to it submissively?" He asks us to abandon our principles, to give up our convictions.

 How will the adoption of this amendment end this subject? Does the mere abolishment of slavery throughout the United States by a constitutional amendment settle all the great
questions springing up in relation to that institution? Does it not multiply and complicate the difficulties which surround us? As the thing stands now we know what it is; we know how it is controlled; we know how it has been governed. We have been accustomed to it. We know the condition of the African race. But, sir, adopt this amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and by one fell swoop declare this race free throughout this broad land, and what are you going to do then with these liberated Africans?

Note: This is, of course, the burning question; this is the crux. Whether you are a rebel, or a loyal white citizen of the North, what is the new nation, which is being forged from the war, going to do with these liberated Africans? Is the Republican Party, in control of the new nation, going to help both the freed Africans and the crushed whites of the South get on their feet and help them go on their way? Or is it going to use the Africans to oppress the whites, and then abandon them when the whites revolt?

Mr. Yeaman. My colleague will allow me to say a word. He appears to have understood
me to have maintained that the death of slavery would end the rebellion. I did not take that position. 1 took the ground that the adoption of this amendment would remove from these Halls one of the disturbing elements that now exist, as well as take from the rebellion one of the principal sources of its strength.

Mr. Mallory. Well, Mr. Speaker, as I said before, we know how slavery now exists; we know what laws govern and control it; we know what rights maintain it. We know all about it. We know the status of the African. But adopt this amendment to the Constitution, and so far from removing a disturbing element of discussion, do we not introduce hundreds of distracting questions in the place of that one which we propose to get rid of, and springing from this very act necessarily?

I renew the inquiry, what does the gentleman propose to do with the Africans if they be liberated by this constitutional amendment? Does my colleague hold that they should remain in the States in which they may be when freed?

Sir, 1 know hundreds of the Republican party who were bitterly opposed to this policy; who would have fought to the bitter end against setting free the Africans to remain in the States where they were freed, and to control the destinies of this Government by the exercise of the elective franchise, maintaining an equality with the white man, socially, civilly, politically.

 Do they entertain that opinion now? Does my colleague entertain it? Is he? Are they now in favor of the negro remaining when freed in the States where freed, enjoying the right of suffrage, politically the equal of the white man? What is to be done with the Africans who may be freed? Is not that a disturbing question?  Is not that an exciting question?

If you are to send them out of the country, where are you to send them? What nation on the face of the globe would be willing to receive them? Do you say, "Send them to Africa?" How will you get them there? This is a rich Government; it is a powerful Government; it is a Government that can, according to the theory acted on by this Administration, do whatever it pleases, provided the greenbacks will hold out. But I ask the question, and I would like the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, or the Secretary of the Treasury, or some other distinguished man who knows all about our financial condition, to answer it.

I ask the question, is this nation able to deport and colonize the three or four million slaves that will be set free by the amendment now proposed? Can you raise the twelve or fifteen hundred millions, or the two thousand millions, that will be necessary for this purpose? Millions have now come to be regarded as so insignificant that perhaps I cannot excite the alarm of gentlemen on this subject unless I name some six or seven thousand millions. I do not know what amount it will require; but the sum is enormous. This Government now is oppressed with debt and laboring under financial difficulty. The wits of its wisest financiers are severely taxed to devise the ways and means to continue the present war.

Mr. Speaker, I have suggested why, financially, we cannot agree to the deportation of this class. But that is not the only one. Humanity comes in and forbids this thing. Will you take this man, for whose freedom you have worked so long and with so much pretended philanthropy; will you take these beings whom you propose to raise from what you call their present abject condition to one of freedom and equality; will you take them forcibly and carry them from the land they love and place them where they do not want to go? Is that your humanity? Why not let him stay in the condition where he is contented and happy? Where will you carry him?

 Oh, no; this is not your purpose! I know that it was the purpose of some of the gentlemen on that side of the House. Their number has become "small by degrees and beautifully less. I know that that party have been "whittled down to the little end of nothing." [Laughter.] There is nothing of it scarcely remaining. But there are some gentlemen who still think that they ought to be colonized.

1 now make the declaration, and I believe that time will prove its truth; I know that gentlemen make the declaration that the purpose of the party in power is to retain them in the States where they are freed by force and power if necessary, and to preserve them there as an element of political power, to be used through all time for the purpose of keeping control of the Federal Government, and the control of the States in their hands.

That purpose has been indicated by the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Elliot] in his effort to pass the freedmen's bill. It has shown that it will be the effect of that bill to erect an imperiumin imperio in every State in the Union where these slaves are freed, to have in them all a large class of men who shall be kept from the control of State laws and held under the control of the Federal Government. This has been proved recently in Maryland by the interference of the military power to take from the control of the orphans' court the young slaves liberated there who were bound out to their masters in accordance with the laws of that State; and the announcement of the military commander that these young freemen should not have their status fixed by the laws and courts of Maryland, but that it should be fixed by the authorities of the United States.

Well, sir, having been freed by the party in power they will during all time be the friends of the party in power; and when their reconstruction policy comes to be carried out, and State after State is brought back by force, and not willingly, into the Union, how long, I ask you, will It be before this power will enable them to control the General Government and fix the destinies of this Union indefinitely? That may be a strong reason, Mr.  Speaker, why they now urge this amendment. I have no doubt that that is their leading motive. And in the name of God, is it not a motive for me, and every man who loves the institutions of his country, for every man who wants to see this a great free Government, controlled by the white men during all time, to oppose it?

I do not know but the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Ashley] contemplated such an end and such a purpose. I do not know that he is not one of the illuminati who are undertaking to educate this whole land in the belief in the destiny of the African, which is to place him not only upon an equality with the white man but above him in all respects.

Sir, that is the policy of a distinguished gentleman from Missouri, (Gratz Brown,) who recently wrote a communication to the Democrat, published in St. Louis, in which this purpose is avowed. That gentleman, the "higher law" leader of that State, one of those who guide the public sentiment of the United States; one of that radical set, once so odious and now so powerful; and which has compelled the moderate and conservative men of the party to come into their views; that gentleman has avowed this as his purpose.

I read that communication not with surprise, but with horror. It was addressed to the State of Missouri and to the convention which is to assemble there. He tells them that three things are necessary in order to secure that freedom to the African which they propose to give. The first is a radical change in the judiciary of Missouri, the putting upon the bench a man who will support him in his views of African rights; the second is that the elective franchise and freedom must go hand in hand, and the African who is made free by the action of that convention is to be invested with the right of the elective franchise equally with the white man, and the right and power to hold office; and in the third place, for fear that this potent agency will not enable him to carry out his object of controlling that  state, he goes further and lays down the doctrine that every white man in the State Missouri who opposes his policy be denied the right of the elective franchise.

This power which he wants to perpetuate in Missouri is to be accomplished by giving the elective franchise to the black man and taking it from the white man And the policy he recommends in Missouri you propose to carry out in all the slave States in the Union. You intend that no State shall deny the freed African the right of franchise. If it shall be done in any State you will set aside its action by the Federal power.

Mr. Clay of Kentucky. What is the use of this proposed amendment to the Constitution? You contend that by the proclamation of the President slavery is already abolished in all the rebel States. It is needless, therefore, to apply the proposed amendment to any of them. You do not intend that they shall ever return to the Union. The honorable gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Stevens] has taken the ground here that the rebel States are no longer in the Union, and are, therefore, not entitled to the protection of the Constitution, and the action of Congress in receiving West Virginia in the Union as a State in violation of the Constitution of the United States seems to indorse his sentiments.

I read from his speech delivered in the House on the 9th of December, 1862, upon that
question: "Now, these rebellious States being a Power by the  acknowledgement of European nations, and of our own nation, subject and entitled to belligerent rights have become subject to all the rules of war. I hold the Constitution has no longer the least effect upon them. . . . Hence I hold that none of the States now in rebellion are entitled to the protection of the Constitution, and I am grieved when I hear those high in authority sometimes talking of thc constitutional difficulties of enforcing measures against this belligerent power, and the next moment disregarding every vestige and semblance of the Constitution by acts which alone are arbitrary."

And Mr. Webster said on the Senate floor: "I hold that Congress is absolutely precluded from interfering in any manner, directly or indirectly with slavery as with any other of the institutions of the States. . . I say that there is no power, direct or indirect, In Congress, or the General Govcrnment, to interfere in the slightest degree with the institutions of the

Note: So, in essence, the language of the 13th Amendment is masking the fact that the people of the Union are actually amending Article I, Section 8, to read—"The Congress shall have power to dictate the domestic policies of the States."

One can argue that, because the language of the amendment expressly limits its scope to a specific domestic policy, the amendment leaves the States with the sole power to establish all other domestic policies which operate upon their respective citizens. But the record shows, as a practical reality, that the Federal Government through its three branches has taken complete control of all aspects of domestic policy, making the policy in all its aspects uniform across the country.

How does the proposition affect Kentucky? Let us look at the interest that she has in this
matter. Most of the members of this House have little interest in the question. It is a mere idea with them. They sit here and vote away the property of others, while they themselves have no interest in it. How is it with regard to Kentucky? Her slave property before the war was worth $150,000,000, and would be at this day worth more if it had not been for the action of the Federal Government.

You have no right to take away that property unless for the public use, and then only on making just compensation. I have heard much about "military necessity," but you would have just as much right, under this plea, to go to northern manufactories and take away clothing, boots, and shoes, by force of arms, for the use of the Army, as you would have to go into Kentucky and take our slave and other property. You would have just as much right to go into your large cities and take money from the banks and other moneyed institutions, on the plea that it was necessary in order to pay the soldiers to carry on the war. I believe in no such necessity, and such conduct is merely robbing the citizens, contrary to the constitutional laws of the country.

But you say that you intend to make this legal by changing the Constitution; and you ask us to consent that the General Government shall rob one State for the benefit of all the rest if you have it so. You propose to carry the amendment by a two-thirds vote in Congress and by three fourths of the States, which you are controlling by your armies.

Look at the State of Kentucky. At this time and at the last election the Federal soldiers were scattered all over the State. You could not go to a town or cross-road or railroad station without finding it bristling with bayonets. The soldiers were there at the last election, intimidating voters and driving them from the polls. And yet you propose the mockery of submitting this measure to the people under such circumstances.

Let me relate a few incidents that have taken place in Kentucky recently. Nearly every
public press in the State of Kentucky, so far as I know,bthat does not sustain the policy of the Administration, has been suppressed by military authority. No paper is allowed to appear there that is not bound to advocate their policy. I do not believe there exists a public print in the whole State of Kentucky that is not so controlled. Not by direct military order, but by trade regulations, by which no editor can buy paper and materials for his office, or sell his paper when printed, without suffering great inconvenience; for the man who does not support the policy of the Administration is denounced as disloyal and not entitled to support. You have your hands upon every man in that country. Your officers say to this man and to that, "I want this property and that, and I intend to have it; and you who do not vote for Abraham Lincoln shall never receive a cent for your property; while those of you who do vote for him shall be fully paid."

In my district, under the pressure of military power, two or three irresponsible men, hardly known in the county, some of whom I confess I did not know, although in my own county where 1 have lived all my life, were put upon the board of trade, and every man who desired to buy or sell anything, a horse, or cow, or supplies of any kind for his family, was compelled to go to them and to get a permit before he moved it.

What more? All the railroads in the State of Kentucky arc now in the hands of the Government and Government agents, and throughout the whole State they are taking every African that comes to the roads and running them off to the borders of the State. For what? Is it for the benefit of the Government of the United States.? Is it to aid in putting down the rebellion? No, sir; many are taken to the North and put into the Army, that the men of the North may get rid of serving in the Army, and thousands of dollars are made by this stealing of our property by individuals for their own benefit.

January 10, 1865

His Excy Jefferson Davis
President Confed States

Mr. President,
I have received tonight the dispatch from Gen Hardee of the 8th inst, which you have done me the honor to forward. The dispositions made by Gen Hardee appear to me to be judicious, and as far as I can judge at this distance, the line he proposes to hold is the best. All he wants is sufficient troops. According to his statement he will have with Connors' brigade, over 20,000 men. This is exclusive of the 5000 militia promised by Gov Magrath, and also of Gen G. W. Smith's command. This will swell his force to 27000. Ten thousand additional troops ought to be obtained from Georgia, and I hope no effort will be spared to get them.

I do not know what Hood can accomplish, or what he proposes to do, but his force should not be kept idle, and unless he can deal the enemy some important blow, his troops, or at least a portion of them should be brought east. If he adopts a defensive course, no more troops will be required there than enough to hold Thomas in check.

An expedition has left Grant's army which I think is probably intended to repeat the attack against Wilmington. I have not yet learned its strength, but from the number of transports that have descended James River, I should judge it was not larger than the former. Still Gen Bragg may have to be reinforced, which will further weaken this army. The 8th corps and a portion of the black troops are said to form the land troops of the expedition.

I am with great respect, your obt servt
R. E. Lee, Genl

Note: On April 9, 1865, General Lee surrendered to Grant the Army of Northern Virginia and Richmond fell. The war was over.

The Surrender of General Lee

Mr. KASSON of Iowa. I will remark to the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. Mallory] that he fails to appreciate the old Democratic doctrine, that the will of the majority constitutionally expressed is the lawful indication of the course that should be pursued by the Democracy. But when the proposition is not final, but is to submit the amendment thus supported by the majority to the constitutional preponderating majority of two thirds and three fourths, it is against true Democracy to refuse that submission to the people.

Note: In the abstract realm of political science, Mr. Kasson's statement is not exactly correct. The political process began with the concept that thirteen sovereign States, each in her own right, capable of going her own way in the world, agreed to form a political union between themselves, the union to be governed by a Federal Government, which the States continued to be solely responsible for governing themselves.

The agreement expressly specified distinct powers the States granted the Federal Government, qualified by the condition and general understanding of the parties that all powers not expressly granted the Federal Government were reserved to the States. Chief among the reserved powers was the power to establish the domestic policies of the States. Now, three-fourths of those States claim the constitutional power to grant this reserved power to the Federal Government notwithstanding one fourth refuse to relinquish the power which is a power intrinsic to their status as sovereign States. Now, if the one fourth were the states of New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, or Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, the ultimate resolution of the matter might well depend upon the outcome of war. It is might that makes right in the affairs of States as well as of men.

Did not Patrick Henry say this, in the Virginia debates over ratification of the Constitution:

"If you give power to the General Government to provide for the general defense the means must be commensurate to the end. All the means in the possession of the people must be given to the Government which is entrusted with the public defense.

In this State there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other States; but there are few or none in the northern States; and yet, if the northern States shall be of opinion that our numbers are numberless, they may call forth every national resource. May Congress not say that every black must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed, that every slave who would go to the Army should be free.

Another thing will contribute to bring this event about. Slavery is detested; we feel its fatal effects; we deplore it with all the pity of humanity. Let all these considerations at some future period press with full force on the minds of Congress. Let that humanity which, I trust, will distinguish America, and the necessity of national defense; let all these things operate on their minds; they will search that paper and see if they have power of manumission.

And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defense and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May not they pronounce all slaves free? And will they not be warranted by that power? There is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper speaks to the point. They have the power in clear, unequivocal terms and will clearly exercise it."

Now I affirm, Mr. Speaker, that the State of Massachusetts emancipated without compensation; that the State of New Hampshire emancipated without compensation; so also the State of Rhode Island; the State of Connecticut; the State of New York; and the State of Pennsylvania; so also the State of Missouri; so also the State of Maryland, thank God, since the outbreak of this war. And done upon this principle, not that it is taking away property, but that it is dissolving a relation; in other words, declaring that this is not property at all, but is a relation or an institution which is always subject to the operation of the legislation of the country in proper form.

Gentlemen say that we are interfering with State rights. In this particular I call their attention to what the Constitution has already done to interfere with State rights. They tell us this is a "change" of the General Government. They call the Constitution an "agency," a "compact," a "contract," all of which is contrary to a sound judgment upon the instrument itself. I take issue with that doctrine, and 1 appeal to those gentlemen to meet the issue, that the Constitution creates a Government within the scope of its powers as absolute, as sovereign, as complete as is the Government of any State in the Union, legitimately constituted by the people.

Mr. Voorhees of Indiana. let me ask the gentleman from Iowa, is his argument to amount to a denial that the States are sovereign upon the domestic institution of slavery? If so, why is there found in the Chicago platform a plank which denies to the Federal Government the power to touch this question in any State?

1860 Repulican Party's Platform

4. That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the states, and especially the right of each state to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of powers on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depends; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any state or territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.

Mr. KASSON. The gentleman from Indiana is too good a logician to consider that question as one of radical importance. He knows very well from the tenor of my argument that my object is to show that we have the right to take, by amendment of the Constitution, one additional element of what otherwise would be the domestic power of the States; because we are only dealing with the same kind of questions that were dealt with in the formation of the Constitution which took from them other of their rights, and I was proceeding to show that in this proposition we are running in the legitimate line of a diminution of State rights, for the better promotion of " the general welfare."

Note: The constitution was not operative as to a State unless and until she agreed to its terms. Would she have assented to the agreement, had Mr. Kasson's interpretation of the instrument been brought to her attention?

1 will now read an extract from a very solemn letter signed by George Washington,
unanimously adopted by the Convention which framed the Constitution, and addressed to the Congress of the Confederation then in session, in order to show in answer to the gentleman from Indiana, and to a question propounded to me a while ago by the gentleman from Kentucky, the relative importance of the Union upon the one hand, and those so-called sovereign rights of the States upon the other.

In that letter, dated September 17, 1787, adopted unanimously by the Convention, as I beg gentlemen to remember, Washington says:

"It is obviously impracticable in the Federal Government of these States to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance as on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered and those which may be reserved; and on the present occasion this difficulty was increased by a difference among the several States as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.

In all our deliberations on this subject we kept steadily in our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American—the consolidation of our Union—in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence."

Mr. Voorhees. I do not understand the authority which the gentleman quotes to conflict at all with the views which 1 have always entertained and have often expressed. I believe that the Constitution was made for the purpose of forming a union of the States. Whether the term "consolidation" is happy or not, or fairly expresses the proper idea, 1 shall not stop now to consider. But I hold that the Constitution formed a union not to be broken at the will of any one State. If anyone has ever supposed that 1 upheld the right of a Slate to secede from the Union he has done me injustice.

But what I wish to call the attention of the gentleman from Iowa to now is this, does he hold that the Constitution consolidated a Union whose Federal power embraced the right to do as they pleased with all the reserved rights of the States? If that is his view now, how does he reconcile that view with the doctrine laid down but a few short years ago by the party to which he belongs? What new powers has the Federal Government obtained over the States within the last three or four years? If new powers have accrued, whence have they been obtained, and out of what causes have they arisen?

Note: Voorhees is referring to the undisputed fact that the 1860 Platform of the Republican Party, the express position of Lincoln, Seward and every other leader of the Party at that time, was that Congress had no power to interfere with the institution of slavery as it existed in several of the States. But this position seems not to expressly include the concept of the people of the states, themselves, in convention assembled, amending the Constitution to make slavery unlawful.

The 1860 Republican Party laid down this doctrine: "Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend." This resolution appears to based, not on an admission that the constitution requires maintenance of slavery, but that, as a matter of politics, it is a good idea to maintain the status quo.

Mr. Voorees continues. While the gentleman from Iowa is upon that point, let me call his attention to a resolution that passed this House by the votes of his political friends within the last three years. I do not know whether the honorable gentleman was a member of the House at the time, but I take it for granted that if he had been he would have supported the resolution as did his friends. The resolution was offered by the distinguished gentleman who is now a Senator from Ohio, [Mr. Sherman.].

Mr. KASSON. I will say to the gentleman that I remember that resolution well.

Mr. VOORHEES. Let me read it.

Mr. KASSON. It was cited yesterday, and I propose to answer that point,

Mr. VOORHEES. Let me read it for my own purpose and then I will not detain the gentleman no longer:

"Resolved, That neither the Federal Government nor the people or governments of the non-slaveholding States have the purpose or the constitutional right to legislate upon or interfere with slavery in any State of this Union."

That resolution embraces a denial of three sources of power: it denies that the Federal Government has any such power; it denies that the people of the non-slaveholding States have any such power; it denies that the governments of the non-slaveholding States have any such power —altogether constituting the broadest denial upon this question that could possibly be put in the English language.

Mr. KASSON. When we declared in that resolution that we had not that right we laid the very foundation which justifies this action to get the right, to wit, by an amendment of that Constitution which then denied it.

Note. Mr. Kasson is struggling with abstractions here. (1) he admits his party did not have the right, (2) then, but now it does have the right, because (3) the war justifies the usurpation of the right. Is that what he is saying?

We propose this amendment to the Constitution now in the light thrown over the country by the horrors of this war.

We propose to amend it in order to get the right, and to furnish the opportunity to avoid the occasion of a future war, and to restore a permanent peace to this distracted country.

We passed a resolution in that spirit then, when gentlemen were crying out for olive-branches instead of cannon-balls, and everybody was willing to tender the olive-branch in advance of and to avoid the shedding of blood. But when war has come, notwithstanding that when the olive-branch has been rejected, when we have been met on the side of the enemy with bayonets instead of reciprocal olive-branches, this country has learned a new lesson. We have learned that that class of men in the South must be treated as well with iron as with what the gentleman's friends have been pleased to style mere paper fulminations.

So it was with the action of the convention at Chicago to which the gentleman refers. It is that the balance of power would be preserved by mutual non-interference. It was not accepted by the South. The balance of power was not preserved by non-action upon this subject, but was overthrown in the face of it, thus showing the necessity of some further action on the subject in order that the balance of power may be restored and the peace of the country perpetuated as well as reestablished.

Do not gentlemen perceive that there has been a war about this very question; that hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost in a war provoked by the adherents of this institution; that the question is again presented to the country with a redoubled significance and power, until you cannot go into a cottage in the most remote hamlet of the nation where, in the midst of tears for dear ones lost, they do not pray you to save their posterity from being obliged to shed blood again in a contest provoked by those who have no justice in their cause, and who have no grounds foe appeal to the support of either Christianity or civilization or to any feeling of humanity in their race.

Note: Keeson makes the situation clear. As long as the Slave States stick to the Union, the Republican Party promises not to interfere with the institution as it exists within their borders.

The Slave States did not believe the Republican Party would keep its promise, and if they waited to find out it would be too late to mount a defense against the Party's aggression. The aggression manifested itself in the Party's insistence that Africans not only be free but be free in the South; an insistence demonstrated by the Party's intent to block Africans from entering the Territories of the Union and Free State laws like Illinois' Black Code.

Slavery was more than an economic system that brought profit to slaveowners; it was a social order the entire white population of the South depended upon, to keep social control of almost half as many black people. Did, then, the Slave States secede to maintain the economic system, or to maintain the social order?

To prevent the Slave States' secession, the white people of the North had over eighty years to push their representatives in Congress, to create legislation which provided a means of softening the economic losses that would naturally follow a broad-based emancipation, provide a means by which the emanicipated African population might be dispersed across the whole breadth of the Union; and, finally, to push their own legislatures to knock down the legal barriers that blocked the Africans from residing in their States. Instead the white people of the North played deaf and dumb to the reality, leaving the matter to the shrill, arrogant voices of a few white men who lived in a dream world in which they envisoned the African being embraced with love.

Mr. MALLORY. I wish to ask the gentleman one more question: Will he hereafter, when this question shall have been submitted to the various States for ratification, admit that the States now in rebellion shall be counted in ascertaining the proportionate number of States ratifying the amendment?

Mr. KASSON. I am not aware, sir, that there is any proposition upon that subject before the House.

Mr. MALLORY. The question must come up in the future, and I ask the gentleman in relation to that future.

Mr. KASSON. " Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." When the gentleman places himself right upon the Democratic principle of following the indications of the will of the majority of the people, and supports the proposition to give to the people an opportunity to give the full majority that is required, then he may propound such questions to me.

Note: It is not rational to expect that the Slave States, having seceded from the Union and having waged war as a foreign power against the Union, when they are conquered and made mere territory of the United States, can "legally" claim that their votes must be counted among the loyal states when they vote the proposed amendment up or down. But certainly there must be three fourths of the States still in the Union when the vote is taken who vote yea. And that remains to be seen.

Fernando Wood of New York. Now, sir, we will assume that by an amendment to the Constitution you abolish slavery: what then? Why have you abolished it? The gentleman from Iowa [Mr. Kasson] has today attempted to tell you of some of the evils which surround this institution. He calls it a social evil; others call it a political evil. All the evil acts of the rebels are attributed to the fact that slavery exists there. And it is assumed that this rebellion never would have existed, that it could not have been begun, that it could not be prosecuted or sustained, except that slavery existed within those States. I will not stop to answer these fallacies. Our revolutionary fathers went into a rebellion and were successful. The institution of slavery was not any hinderance to their success.

Well, sir, we will assume that we have abolished slavery. What then? The gentleman from
Kentucky [Mr. Mallory] asked you yesterday what do you propose to do with these people when you have freed them? Deport them? As the gentleman told you, it would add $4,000,000,000 to your debt, but that, in his own expressive language, would not deter gentlemen upon the other side of the House.

President Lincoln's Annual Message to Congress, December 1861

It might be well to consider, too, whether the free colored people already in the United States could not, so far as individuals may desire, be included in such colonization.

To carry out the plan of colonization may involve the acquiring of territory, and also the appropriation of money beyond that to be expended in the territorial acquisition. Having practiced the acquisition of territory for nearly sixty years, the question of constitutional power to do so is no longer an open one with us. The power was questioned at first by Mr. Jefferson, who, however, in the purchase of Louisiana, yielded his scruples on the plea of great expediency. If it be said that the only legitimate object of acquiring territory is to furnish homes for white men, this measure effects that object, for the emigration of colored men leaves additional room for white men remaining or coming here. Mr. Jefferson, however, placed the importance of procuring Louisiana more on political and commercial grounds than on providing room for population.

On this whole proposition, including the appropriation of money with the acquisition of territory, does not the expediency amount to absolute necessity--that without which the Government itself can not be perpetuated?

The scheme of colonization has been abandoned; that scheme had for its supporters such men as Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. Our new lights have gone against that. They desire to keep these Africans here for home consumption. First, to use them as instruments by which to obtain political power. Secondly, to retain the power thus obtained. Thirdly, to gratify vengeance against the slaveholder. Fourthly, as an excuse for continuing the war, and thus to continue the army of Government officials, and finally, if possible, to elevate the negro to the condition of the white man and give him suffrage, and by that means to create a power which will forever rule and control this country.

Note: This is the crux of the cause of the war. At the bottom has been, from the beginning, the white men knowing that, if the Africans were freed from their relation to the white men as masters, then the Africans must necessarily share equally in the political power of the community to which they belong, which implies, ultimately, social equality. These white men, North and South, are driven by the feeling they are superior to the African and, therefore, cannot share political power and cannot accept the Africans as their social equals.

Yes, a few white men in the North had the idea that equality is the rule, regardless of the apparent "differences" between the two races and these men, thanks to the gift of war, have now maneuvered their party into exclusive power and mean to do exactly what Wood says they mean to do.

The Republican Party controlled all three branches of the Federal Government from 1861 to when? 1885. Grover Cleveland was the first Democrat elected to the office of President following the Civil War.

Mr. Speaker, we may amend the Constitution; we may by superior military force overrun and conquer the South; we may lay waste their lands and destroy their property; we may free their slaves. But there is one thing we cannot do: we cannot violate with impunity or alter the laws of God.

The Almighty has fixed the distinction of the races; the Almighty has made the black man inferior, and, sir, by no legislation, by no partisan success, by no revolution, by no military power, can you wipe out this distinction. You may make the black man free, but when you have done that what have you done? Have you elevated his condition? Have you advantaged him physically, socially, morally, or intellectually? I asserted here at the last session, 1 now repeat the assertion, that the condition of domestic servitude as existing in the southern States is the highest condition of which the African race is capable, and when compared with their original condition on the continent from which they came is superior in all the elements of civilization, philanthropy, and humanity.

Note: Here is the cause of the war: Wood states the case of the Northern white racist to keep the Africans locked up in slavery in the South. Wood says "the Almighty" but he really means "Nature." Yes, the process of evolution did, in fact, make the African's skin black, did make his hair kinky, did make his nose large; but these physical characteristics of the race merely define a superficial difference in outward appearance between it and the white race. They say nothing about the character and intellect of the man.

What must really be the reason why Wood wants nothing personally to do with an African of his time is that, as objective fact, the average African, kept in slavery by whites for two hundred years, is ignorant; he still lives in a state of nature when it comes to his social relations with other Africans. Small wonder having been denied the marriage relation, the parent relation.  But does he understand right from wrong? Of course he does. A few white men of Wood's day looked at the African and saw a man, who, if given the chance, would prove to be a useful, productive, law abiding citizen of their community. And they were determined to make it so, even if it meant a horrible civil war.

Mr. Speaker, I presume it will not be contended that the condition of the native African is, in any regard, equal to that of the American slave. Sir, the Africans live in their native wilds as slaves. The Africans are sold into slavery by themselves. I contend that their condition in this country is in every regard improved. From barbarians they become civilized Christians; from slaves they become freemen. Admitting all the sins with which slavery is charged, it cannot be denied that it has been an instrument in the hands of God by which to confer a benefit upon that unfortunate race.

Note: So, then, if, as Wood says, The African in America had become by 1865 "civilized Christians" what is keeping Wood from celebrating their acceptance by his constituents as citizens in their community?

Mr. Grinnell. I am here to say that I do not enter into the discussion of the simple propriety of this measure. No; at the threshold 1 deny that there can be property in man. I never believed in the doctrine. My whole nature revolted at it, and the reading of books of law, volumes of history, and of God's word, never taught me else than that the institution was barbaric, in defiance of natural law.

But the gentleman from Kentucky asks. What will you do with our slaves? What shall we do with them  Ah! It seems to me there is something due to those who have so long supported their masters, certainly to be let alone. Cannot they who have supported themselves and their masters in the past take care of themselves? That, sir, is a question which we can well afford to leave unanswered, since the enslaved race are establishing their manhood and fighting our battles.

January 12

Mr. FARNSWORTH. I wish to inquire of the gentleman whether if the municipal law should declare him properly that would make him property?

Mr. WHITE of Ohio. My answer is, that if the local, municipal law provided that another man should have property in my service, my service would be his property. The guarantee of the Constitution is for the enforcement of the local municipal laws by the concentration of the power of the whole people. The parent has the right to the service of his child; he has a property in the service of that child. A husband has a right of property in the service of his wife; he has the right to the management of his household affairs. The master has a right of property in the service of his apprentice. All these rights rest upon the same basis as a man's right of property in the service of slaves. The relation is clearly and distinctly defined by the law, and as clearly and distinctly recognized by the Constitution of the United States.

But, sir, let me now look at the humanity of this measure. What will be the effect of turning loose in our midst here more than three million men without property, at a time of great political commotion, when all the foundations of Society are broken up, and while we are convulsed by a terrible revolution that is rocking the land from one end to the other?

What will be the effect of turning loose this mass of people? Where will they go? What do you propose to do with them? Do you propose to enfranchise them, and make them "equal before the law," as the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr, Stevens] says, the equals of the white man; give them the right of suffrage; the right to hold office; the right to sit upon juries? Do you intend, in other words, to make this a mongrel Government, instead of a white man's Government?

Do you intend to degrade the United States of America to the low condition of the provinces of Central America? Is it for that that we are wasting our blood and our treasure? Have we no higher aim or purpose than this in this great struggle in which we are engaged?

That, as I said before, will be the effect of throwing this people on their own resources. They cannot remain South. If you liberate the negro by the bayonet, the tenure by which he will hold his liberty will be only that by which you have given it to him; he will be free just as long as the soldier sets his bayonet between the slave and the master, and no longer. The exodus of the African race from all these States is absolutely necessary if it would be free.

Where can the African go? Certainly not to the cold regions of New England. Its types of industry, manufactures, are ill adapted to the nature and capacity of that race. The Mississippi valley where we are engaged in the simpler pursuits of agriculture is destined to be the home of that people. There we have prejudices, and those prejudices are things which are of ourselves a part. We cannot eradicate them if we could. Force the emancipated Africans upon us, make them our equals before the law, place in their possession the balance of power in this country, let them control the elections and dictate who shall manage the Government of the country, and what will be the result?

It is easily understood. Civil commotion and internal strife will follow, however much we may regret it. The only way, then, to a restoration of a permanent and lasting peace, a peace that will give strength and stability to the Government, and win to it the hearts and consciences of the American people, is to find some basis on which all can stand, which will secure the rights of all, and perpetuate the liberties of all.

Note: The fellow states the case precisely, a case that applies equally if the freed African in mass were to attempt to move across the Ohio.

Mr. Holman. Gentlemen assume that the Constitution is responsible for slavery and bewail the error of our fathers. Sir, this assumption is not true. The Constitution is in no sense responsible for slavery.

The whole theory of the Government is that the States alone control their domestic affairs; no power of local domestic government is delegated to Congress: "the powers not delegated are reserved to the States or to the people." If in the judgment of our fathers African slavery had been inconsistent with a republican form of government, it could have been abolished under the power to "guaranty to each State a republican form of government." But Washington signed the bills to admit Kentucky and Vermont into the Union with their respective domestic policies. Generations had confirmed this interpretation of the Constitution.

To preserve the comity of the States persons fleeing from justice or from engagements for service or labor were to be surrendered up; this provision neither establishes nor recognizes slavery. You do not even in your amendment propose its repeal.

 It would be proper if slavery never existed; the words do not imply slavery. As a citizen of a free State, as a Representative of a free people, I thank God that the Constitution of the United States, the object of our love and veneration, is not responsible for any form of human servitude. It organizes States possessed of domestic sovereignty into a sovereign nation; it charges upon the Federal Government the duty of maintaining the integrity of that nation, to represent it in the family of nations, nothing less, nothing more. In domestic affairs the States are foreign to each other. I am in no sense responsible for the domestic policy of Kentucky. You are not, sir. I would resist interference in her domestic affairs as I would resist even with arms her interference with the domestic policy of my own State. Such was the universal doctrine of our fathers. Such has ever been the doctrine of the Democratic party of the free States.

Note: Of course the constitution is responsible for slavery. Without the fugitive slave clause, there would be no Union. The framers understood this fact and so waived their scruples in the face of exgenicy.

Yet, sir, for not interfering you charge the Democratic party with being proslavery. Sir, what is more unjust and ungenerous and untruthful than party spirit? The Democratic party pro-slavery because they insist on the right of the States to domestic government! Sir, the charge brands with pro-slaveryism every illustrious statesman of the Republic, from Washington and Adams to Webster and Clay, and the great army of heroes who survived the Revolution and bequeathed to you the legacy of free government.

Mr. Cravens. I shall vote against it because I believe there could not be that fair, free, and unbiased deliberation had by the whole people on the question that its importance demands, and because, in my judgment, it will not remove from the halls of legislation a question that has been a disturbing element for more than half a century—I mean the question of the condition of the negro, irrespective of his condition as a slave.

I believe that the passage of this amendment will multiply rather than diminish our troubles upon that subject. The men who commenced and have continued the agitation of slavery up to the time of its culmination in the present civil war will not be content to let the subject rest with the mere abolishment of slavery by constitutional amendment; it will still be the apple of discord while there is any considerable number of that poor and unfortunate African race on our soil.

I have nothing to satisfy my mind that it is any part of the policy of the abolitionist to deport these people when they are liberated; they must therefore be diffused through the free States or allowed to remain where they are. I believe, as a general proposition, that the people of the free States are opposed to the diffusion of emancipated negroes among them. They must then remain where they are; and that being the case, who does not at once see the many perplexing and dangerous questions which are to grow out of the adoption of the amendment at this time?

If we assume the responsibility of liberating three or four million slaves by the operation of this amendment, will we not impose upon ourselves the moral obligation to provide for the support all that large number of helpless women and children, decrepit and old, who would become mendicants or wandering outcasts without such protection from us? To my mind this duty is plain; and I do not desire to incur such fearful responsibilities in the face of the obligations resting on us to provide for and look after the comfort and welfare of those of our own race who, in large numbers, have been rendered helpless by the operations of this terrible war.

Mr. Pendleton. Sir, can three fourths of the States provide an amendment to the Constitution by which one fourth should bear all the taxes of this Government? It is not prohibited. To be sure there is a rule in the Constitution that taxation shall be uniform, but that provision, according to the theory of my friend from Ohio, is revocable and changeable as the rest. The gentleman knows that that amendment would not be within the scope of the power granted to three fourths of the States, and that it would justify resistance.

Can three fourths of the States, by an amendment to this Constitution, subvert the State governments of one fourth and divide their territory among the rest? It is not forbidden; I read no prohibition in the language of the Constitution, and yet my colleague would not contend that could be done. He would justify resistance.

Can three fourths of the States so amend the Constitution of the States as to make the northern States of this Union slaveholding States?

Mr. BOUTWELL. I understood the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Pendleton] to say that he
dissented from the doctrine that the power to amend the Constitution was an unlimited power. I wish to say that I also dissent from that doctrine. I do not agree that under the article of the Constitution authorizing amendments we have the right to amend the Constitution so as to establish slavery, or to invite the King of Dahomey to rule over this country.

Mr. ASHLEY. My colleague [Mr. Pendleton] will do me the justice to say that I was careful to make the limitation that no amendment could be made anti-republican in its character.

Mr. PENDLETON. 1 will do my colleague no injustice. I was repudiating the doctrine of the right or constitutional power of three fourths of the States so to amend the Constitution as that they may carry the institution of slavery into these northern States. I was seeking to impress upon gentlemen the argument that there were other prohibitions than those which were contained in the letter of the Constitution. 1 declared my belief, and I repeat it, that it is not within the power of three fourths of the States to impose upon the dissenting States such an amendment. Authority over the status of its own citizens belongs to each State. It cannot be deprived of it.

Mr. GOOCH. 1 will ask the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Pendleton] whether in his opinion the men who made the Constitution could, at the time they made it, have prohibited the institution of slavery within the United States.

Mr. PENDLETON. In my judgment the Constitution of the United States would never have been ratified by nine of the States with such a provision in it.

Mr. GOOCH. That is not my question. I ask the gentleman whether in his opinion they could have prohibited slavery without violating any of the essential and fundamental principles of the Government.

Mr. PENDLETON. They could have prohibited it, and it would have been binding upon those States which ratified it, because it was in the power of each State to give up to the Federal Government the decision of the status of its people; but the other States cannot claim to make that decision except by express grant from each State.

Mr. GOOCH. I would ask the gentleman a still further question: whether by the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments to it, the States have not conferred that power upon the constitutional majority, or upon that power which they have authorized to amend the Constitution.

Mr. PENDLETON. I think they have not; or else I would not have been denying the power for the last half hour. I have been endeavoring to show that the limitations in the letter of the Constitution were not the only limitations upon the power of amendment.

I have shown that you cannot, under the power of amendment, contravene the letter and spirit of the Constitution; that you cannot subvert republicanism ; that you cannot destroy the liberties of the States; that you cannot decide the status of the citizens of the States. and that if you do it, if you attempt to impose that amendment upon the dissenting States by force, it will be their right to resist you by force, and to call to their aid all the powers which God and nature have given them to make that force effective.

Mr. Ashley says that any amendment must be "consistent with the continued existence of the nation." I deny it; 1 say that three fourths of the States can dissolve the Confederation. They can annul the Constitution. They can dissolve the Union; but they cannot take away from the constituent States those powers which were reserved, not only by the letter, but by the spirit and the intent and design of the instrument itself.

Does the gentleman mean to say that the ratification of nine States would have prohibited the institution of slavery in the thirteen States. Does the gentleman mean to say that the ratification of nine Slates would have made the Constitution binding upon the thirteen? If that is the gentleman's view, then I ask by what authority such a ratification would have had such an effect. I read in the Constitution itself that "the ratification of the conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same."

Does the gentleman still contend that the provisions of the Constitution ratified by nine States would have been binding upon the thirteen?

Mr. ASHLEY. I intended, Mr. Speaker, to say this: That the ratification of the Constitution by nine States of the old Confederation practically made them a nation. It is true the clause of the Constitution quoted by my colleague declares that none but the States adopting it would be bound by it. Yet, practically, if adopted by nine of the thirteen it made the whole, with all the territory belonging to them, a nation.

Note: Mark Mr. Ashley's words: He is admitting that, at the point nine states ratified the proposed constitution, a "nation" sprang into legal and factual existence. Which means that, at the same time, the Union of the Articles of Confederation was still in existence, the Union reduced to four sovereign States, Virginia among them. So now there are two powers shouldering against each other.

Mr. Ashley continues. Undoubtedly the framers of the Constitution believed that if it was
adopted by nine States the practical effect would be to force the other four to adopt it. I have no doubt such was the understanding of the members of the convention, and certainly such was the practical effect of it.

Mr. PENDLETON. Well, Mr. Speaker, that is a most extraordinary proposition. It might be true that, in the course of time, and by the power of conquest, or by the moral influences which a Government composed of nine States would have exerted, the other States would have been persuaded to come into the Union, but I deny that any one State would have been bound by any ratification except that proceeding from the State itself.

The theory which the gentleman has explained to us just now, and which, as contained
in his speech as printed in the Globe, 1 honestly thought, in my simplicity, to be a isprint—this theory explains what ^hc gentleman means when he tells us that the Federal Constitution does not clothe any of the States with the attributes of sovereignty. Of course it does not. Nobody ever pretended that it did.

Mr. STEVENS of Pennsylvania suddenly injects himself in this days old debate.

Suppose that nine States had at that time ratified the Constitution, while the other four did not; would those other four have been members of the Union?

Mr. PENDLETON. No, sir.

Mr. STEVENS. I agree. But suppose that three fourths of the States now ratify an amendment while the remaining four do not, are the States refusing to ratify still members of the Union?

Note: Stevens question is assuming a fact not in evidence. He is assuming that there exists in the situation he describes, only one "Union;" when, in fact and law, there exist two─all that has happened is that nine states have abandoned their commitment to the perpetual union formed by the Articles of Confederation and have gone off and made a new union formed by the Constitution. They have left four states behind, taking the risk that these four states will not attempt, by force of arms, to bring them back. Whatever amendments the nine states make to their constitution is of no relevance to the four states remaining in the perpetual union of the Articles.

Mr. PENDLETON. That will depend upon the character of the amendment, and whether it is in pursuance of the authority granted.

Mr. STEVENS. If the amendment should be adopted by three fourths of the States, while the other four refuse to ratify it, do the non-agreeing States go out of the Union or remain in it?

Note: Stevens is conflating the ratification of the constitution with the ratification of the amendment to the constitution. He, and apparently Pendleton, are assuming that, once the nine states left the perpetual union and formed a new one, the old union disappeared, though four states still give it their allegiance.

Mr. PENDLETON. If the amendment be without the scope of the power granted, legally
they remain in the Union, and the other States go out. [Laughter.]

Nobody pretends that the States are clothed with the powers of sovereignty by the Federal
Constitution. Nor does that instrument necessarily strip them of the sovereign rights which they had before the Constitution was made. The States have sovereign powers today except so far as that Constitution, by their voluntary act of adoption, has taken those powers from them. They do not derive power from the Federal Government.

But, Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Ashley] is led by his anxiety to pass this
amendment into the declaration of another doctrine, which although not entirely novel, is somewhat new upon this floor. He holds to the doctrine that ordinances of secession destroy State governments, but do not affect the relations of the States, that is, of the territory and the people: to the Federal Government.

He holds that an act of secession is an abdication by the people of their rights but not a release from their duties; that it destroys, not the tie which binds them to the Union, but their form of Government, leaving them subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government and its absolute sovereignty with all the rights of local government, and he deduces from this the conclusion that the seceding States have no voice on this amendment, but are absolutely bound by it. That doctrine was promulgated by a Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. Sumner] nearly three years ago in a series of resolutions presented to' the Senate, and my colleague will remember that they met with no more indignant response than from the honorable, able, learned, and patriotic gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Thomas] who then had a seat upon the floor of this House.

January 13, 1865

Mr. ASHLEY. I move that the further consideration of the special order be postponed after today until next Tuesday two weeks, after the morning hour.
The motion was agreed to.

Mr. ASHLEY rnoved that the vote last taken lie reconsidered; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid on the table.
The latter motion was agreed to.

Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. I demand the regular order of business.

Tlie SPEAKER. The regular order of business is the consideration of the business in which the House was engaged at the adjournment yesterday, being the motion to reconsider the vote by which the House on the 15th of last June rejected a joint resolution (S. No. 16) submitting to the Legislatures of the several States a proposition to amend the Constitution of the United States, on which the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. Rollins] is entitled to the floor.

Mr. Rollins of Missouri. Mr. Speaker, when the framers of the American Constitution in 1787 formed that instrument they committed a great mistake in not disposing finally and forever of the institution of slavery. If the venerable man whose "counterfeit presentment" [pointing to the portrait of Washington] stands before us upon the walls of this Representative Chamber could come from the sacred spot of Mount Vernon, which holds his ashes, and the question was put to him "Would you as President of that Convention, and the noble men who composed that body, now dispose gradually and directly of the institution of slavery upon this continent?"

 Is there a man who hears my voice who would doubt what would be the answer of the Father of his country? It was not because they were pro-slavery, but because they were afraid to deal with it. They had other delicate and important questions to deal with which prevented them from disposing of the institution of slavery. They were planting deeply upon this continent the foundations of a temple which was to last forever; a temple of liberty which was to shield not only themselves but their posterity, and that men in all time to come should take refuge there. And they did not wish to endanger that structure, to do anything that would cause it to totter and fall. They did not wish to fail in the grand object that they had in view. Hence they let the minor subject of slavery go over to other times and other men.

See, The Slavery Blame Game

Mr. Garfield of Ohio. When these people of the colonies became free, having withdrawn the sovereignty from the Crown of Great Britain, where did they lodge it? Not in the States; but so far as they delegated it at all, they lodged it in the revolutionary Congress then sitting at Philadelphia.

My colleague dissents. 1 ask his attention again to the language of this distinguished commentator on page 200, volume one: "In the next place, we have seen that the power to do this act was not derived from the State governments, nor was it done generally with their cooperation. The question naturally presents itself, if it is to be considered as a national act, in what manner did the colonies become a nation, and in what manner did Congress become possessed of this national power? The true answer must be that as soon as Congress assumed to pass measures which were in their nature national, to that extent the people, from whose acquiescence and consent they took effect, must be considered as agreeing to form a nation."

Mr. PENDLETON of Ohio. I desire to ask my colleague from what power the delegates who sat in that Congress derived their authority to make that declaration; whether they did not derive it from the colonies, or the States, if the gentleman prefers that word, and whether each delegate did not speak in the Congress for the State government which authorized him to speak there?

Mr. GARFIELD of Ohio. I say, in answer to the point the gentleman makes, as 1 have already said, and in the language of this distinguished commentator, that the moment the revolutionary Congress assumed national prerogatives, and the people by their silence consented, that moment the people of the colonies were constituted a nation, and that revolutionary Congress was the authorized Government of that nation. But the declaration was made "by the authority of the good people," and hence it was their declaration.

Mr. PENDLETON. Will the gentleman permit me to ask him whether from that moment
they became the representatives of the nation, or whether they still retained their position as representatives of the States?

Mr. GARFIELD. They were both. They were still representatives of the States; but the
additional function was added of their being national representatives as well as State. They then took upon them that which now belongs to the gentleman, the twofold quality of State citizenship and national citizenship. The gentleman is twice a citizen, subject to two jurisdictions; and so were they.

Tlie gentleman [Mr. Pendleton] puts another case which I wish to notice. He says that nine of the thirteen original colonies adopted the Constitution, and by the very terms of it it was binding only on the nine. So if three fourths of the States should pass this amendment it would not bind the other four.

In commenting upon this clause Judge Tucker, of Virginia, in his appendix to Blackstone, says that if the four colonies had not adopted the Constitution they would have been a foreign people. The writers of the Federalist hold a different doctrine, and fall back upon the original right of the nation to preserve itself, and say that the nine States would have had the right to compel the other four to come in. But the question is unimportant from the fact that they did come in and adopt the Constitution.

The contract once ratified, and obligations once taken, they became an integral part of an indivisible nation, as indivisible as a State. 1 therefore agree in full with my colleague from the Columbus district, [Mr. Cox,] that with the exception of the two cases of limitation, two thirds of Congress and three fourths of the States can do anything in the way of amendment, being bounded only by their patriotism and sense of duty. The field is therefore open to us, completely and fully open.

Mr. STEVENS. I will detain the House but a few minutes. 1 see, upon looking at the Globe of yesterday, that my distinguished colleague from Ohio, [Mr. Pendleton,] if 1 understand his language aright—and he always speaks with "classic accuracy"—has exonerated those in arms in the rebel States from the responsibility of this bloody war and placed it upon the shoulders of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, (myself) and those who act and think with him in this House.

Sir, that is a grave charge, coming especially from a gentleman who seeks one of the highest places in this nation, and who may possibly receive a few votes for it; and it is therefore, I think, proper that my position, and the position of those who act with me, with regard to this question and our responsibility for the cause of this war, should be in a few summary words set forth in connection with this debate.

Mr. PENDLETON. I only desire that the gentleman shall quote the language I used in immediate connection with the interpretation which he is giving it.

Mr. STEVENS. The gentleman said—

Let him be careful, lest when the passions of these times be passed away, and the historian shall go back to discover where was the original infraction of the Constitution, lie may find that sin lies at the door of others than the people now in arms.

This was addressed to the gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. Stevens,] to the gentleman
from Rhode Island, [Mr. Jenckes,] and others who have acted and thought with me. I infer from this, if I can understand the "classical accuracy" of the gentleman, that he means that we, and not they, were the cause of this war.

This is a grave charge. When, fifteen years ago, I was honored with a seat in this body, it was dangerous to talk against this institution of slavery, a danger which gentlemen now here will never be able to appreciate. Some of us, however, have experienced it; my friend from Illinois on my right [Mr. Washburne] has. And yet, sir, 1 did not hesitate, in the midst of bowie-knives and revolvers and howling demons upon the other side of the House, to stand here and denounce this infamous institution in language which possibly now, on looking at it, I might deem intemperate, but which I then deemed necessary to rouse the public attention and cast odium upon the worst institution upon earth, one which is a disgrace to man and would be an annoyance to the infernal spirits.

Mr. Speaker, I found in the Constitution of my country what I construed, whatever others
may think, as a prohibition from touching slavery where it existed; and through all my course I recognized and bowed to a provision in that Constitution which I always regarded as its only blot; and I challenge the scrutiny of my respected colleague, or any other gentleman, through all the records of utterances in this House, to find one single motion or one single word which claimed on our part to touch slavery in the States where it existed. We admitted that it was there, protected by that instrument. We claimed that in the Territories we had full power over it, and in the District of Columbia, and 1, with those who acted with me, could not hesitate as to what our duty required in excluding it from the free soil of the country and confining it to the spots it already polluted.

Ingenious gentlemen argue, and many honest men will delude their consciences in voting, in favor of still sustaining the institution on the ground that the Constitution does not allow an amendment on this point. They go on the ground that the subject of slavery has not been entrusted to us by the States, and that therefore it is reserved.

Note: Stevens is accepting the idea that, by the 10th amendment, the subject of slavery is reserved to the States; i.e., the power to abolish the legal relation of master and slave framed in terms of property is reserved to the States by the 10th amendment. So Stevens is going to say the 10th amendment is amended by the 13th? That Article I, Section 8 is amended by the 13th Amendment?

Now, as the Constitution now stands, that is true. But we are not now inquiring whether we have jurisdiction over slavery. We are inquiring whether the States have granted to us the power of amendment. That is the subject—not the subject of slavery, not the subject of religion, not the subject of anything else—but, have the States yielded to Congress the right to amend? If they have, then the whole question is answered. Not only have they granted that power, but wherever they intended to except anything from the power of amendment, they have said so. My learned friend knows that when a statute excepts certain things, everything else is meant by it.

No lawyer who wishes to understand it can deny that, with the exceptions contained in Article V, the power to amend the Constitution is unlimited. There is no subject on earth relating to Government that you cannot touch. Nowhere in that original instrument did the States grant the right of legislating on the subject of religion; and yet the very first amendment that was made under this power refers to the subject of religion and the freedom of speech, showing the fallacy of the arguments of those who say that you can amend only the subjects granted to Congress.

Perhaps I ought not to occupy so much time, and 1 will only say one word further. So far as the appeals of the learned gentleman [Mr. Pendleton] are concerned, in his pathetic winding up, 1 will be willing to take my chance, when we all molder in the dust.

He may have his epitaph written, if it be truly written, "Here rests the ablest and most pertinacious defender of slavery and opponent of liberty;" and 1 will be satisfied if my epitaph shall be written thus: "Here lies one who never rose to any eminence, and who only courted the low ambition to have it said that he had striven to ameliorate the condition of the poor, the lowly, the downtrodden of every race and language and color." [Applause.]

1 shall be content, with such a eulogy on his lofty tomb and such an inscription on my humble grave, to trust our memories to the judgment of after ages.

January 31, 1865

Mr. ASHLEY. I call the previous question upon the pending motion to reconsider the vote by which the House on the 15th of last June rejected a joint resolution (S. No. I6) submitting to the Legislatures of the several States a proposition to amend the Constitution of the United States.

Mr. STILES. 1 move to lay the motion to reconsider on the table; and upon that I demand
the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were ordered.
The question was put; and it was decided in the negative─ yeas 57, nays11I, not voting 14.

So the motion to reconsider was not laid on the table.

During the call of the roll, Mr. ROLLINS, of Missouri, stated that Mr. Rogers, of New Jersey, had been confined to his room several days by indisposition.

Mr. CRAVENS stated that Mr. Voorhees was still detained at his home in Indiana in consequence of severe sickness in his family.

The previous question was then seconded, and the main question ordered.

The question being on the motion of Mr. Ashley, to reconsider,
Mr. ANCONA called for the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were ordered. The question was put; and it was decided in the
affirmative—yeas 112, nays 57, not voting 13.

So the motion to reconsider was agreed to. The question recurred on the passage of the
joint resolution.

Mr. ASHLEY. I demand the previous question.

Mr. MALLORY. I rise to a question of order.
My point of order is that a vote to reconsider the vote by which the subject now before
the House was disposed of in June last requires two thirds of this body. That two thirds vote has not been obtained.

The SPEAKER. The Chair overrules the point of order. The rules of the House authorize
every bill and joint resolution to pass by a majority vote. The Constitution of the United
States, however, declares that no constitutional amendment shall pass except by a two-thirds vote. On the question of the passage of the joint resolution the constitutional provision will operate, and not till that time. All other questions are governed by the rules of the House. The Chair will state that this has been the uniform usage of the House in regard to bills vetoed by the President. In such cases all votes up to the time of taking the question on the passage of the bill over the President's veto are decided by a majority vote; but on the final vote a two-thirds vote is necessary.

The previous question was seconded, and the main question ordered; which was on the passage of the joint resolution.

Mr. DAWSON called for the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The question was taken, and it was decided in the affirmative—yeas 119, nays 56, not voting 8.

Note: So you need two thirds of the votes actually cast? As opposed to the total votes that could be cast? The votes actually cast were 175. 2/3 of 175 = 116. It passed with a 3 vote margin. (after the speaker voted, the margin was 4.)

So, the two thirds required by the Constitution of the United States having voted in favor thereof, the joint resolution was passed.

During the roll-call. On Mr, English and Mr. Ganson voting "ay," there was considerable applause by members on the Republican side of the House.

The SPEAKER called repeatedly to order, and asked that members should set a better example to spectators in the gallery.

Mr. KALBFLEISCH and other Democratic members remarked that the applause came, not from the spectators in the gallery, but from members on the floor.

The SPEAKER. Members will take their seats and observe order.

The SPEAKER directed the Clerk to call his name as a member of the House.

The Clerk called the name of Schuyler Colfax, of Indiana, and Mr. Colfax voted "ay."
[This incident was greeted with renewed applause.]

The SPEAKER. The constitutional majority of two thirds having voted in the affirmative, the joint resolution is passed.

[The announcement was received by the House and by the spectators with an outburst of enthusiasm. The members on the Republican side of the House instantly sprung to their feet, and, regardless of parliamentary rules, applauded with cheers and clapping of hands. The example was followed by the male spectators in the galleries, which were crowded to excess, who waved their hats and cheered loud and long, while the ladies hundreds of whom were present, rose in their seats and waved their handkerchiefs, participating in and adding to the general excitement and intense interest of the scene. This lasted for several minutes.]

Mr. INGERSOLL. Mr. Speaker, in honor of this immortal and sublime event I move that
the House do now adjourn.

The SPEAKER declared the motion carried, and again the cheering and demonstrations of applause were renewed,

Mr. HARRIS, of Maryland. I demand the yeas and nays on the motion to adjourn.
The yeas and nays were ordered.

The question was taken; and it was decided in the affirmative—yeas 121, nays 24, not voting 37

Note: There were 36 states 3 added during the war), if you include the 11 states that had seceded. Without the 11 you have 25 states. So you need 3/4 of the 25 which is 18, to ratify, or, in you include the 11, you need 27?

By the end of February 1865 18 states ratified. Among these were two phony governments, "Virginia" and "Louisiana." Arkansas and Tennessee followed suit, bringing the total to 20?

On April 11, 1865 Lincoln called the question whether the states were in or out of the Union, a "pernicious abstraction." Certainly the states were out of proper relation to the Union, he said.

President Johnson organized conventions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The conventions ratified the amendment as condition to gain recognition by congress?

The Thirteenth Amendment became part of the Constitution on December 6, 1865, based on the following ratifications:

1.Illinois — February 1, 1865
2.Rhode Island — February 2, 1865
3.Michigan — February 3, 1865
4.Maryland — February 3, 1865
5.New York — February 3, 1865
6.Pennsylvania — February 3, 1865
7.West Virginia — February 3, 1865
8.Missouri — February 6, 1865
9.Maine — February 7, 1865
10.Kansas — February 7, 1865
11.Massachusetts — February 7, 1865
              12.Virginia — February 9, 1865
13.Ohio — February 10, 1865
14.Indiana — February 13, 1865
15.Nevada — February 16, 1865
                                                  16.Louisiana — February 17, 1865
17.Minnesota — February 23, 1865
18.Wisconsin — February 24, 1865
19.Vermont — March 8, 1865

                                                  20.Tennessee — April 7, 1865
                                                  21.Arkansas — April 14, 1865
22.Connecticut — May 4, 1865

Note: Vermont makes the 18th loyal state to ratify which should be the breaking point, of you acknowledge the seceded states are out of the union.

23.New Hampshire — July 1, 1865

                                                  24.South Carolina — November 13, 1865
                                                  25.Alabama — December 2, 1865
                                                  26.North Carolina — December 4, 1865
                                                  27.Georgia — December 6, 1865
24. Oregon — December 8, 1865
25. California — December 19, 1865
26. Florida — December 28, 1865 (Reaffirmed – June 9, 1869)
27 Iowa — January 15, 1866
28 New Jersey — January 23, 1866 (After rejection – March 16, 1865)
29 Texas — February 18, 1870
30. Delaware — February 12, 1901 (After rejection – February 8, 1865)
31. Kentucky — March 18, 1976[79] (After rejection – February 24, 1865)
32 Mississippi — March 16, 1995; Certified – February 7, 2013[80] (After rejection – December 5, 1865


Joe Ryan